KOHAT, Nov 3: Khushhali Bank will expand its operations to 100 cities of the country by 2002 and will provide short-term small loans to 600,000 jobless youths for the establishment of industrial enterprises and the benefit of farmers and the livestock sector.
The bank has made arrangements to help loaners in community development, capital generation, skill enhancement, and to provide linkages to developmental organizations, NGOs and local governments.
The president of the bank, Ghalib Nishtar, told Dawn at a cheque distribution ceremony here on Saturday that there were in the country 29 branches, which were functioning in both rural and urban areas to help farmers and jobless people to establish their businesses.
He said farmers were exempted from any instalment from the period between sowing and harvest. They were being provided with monetary help for the purchase of seed, fertilizer and essential machinery, he added.
Small entrepreneurs were free to obtain loans in groups or individually and to repay in easy monthly instalments on the date of their choosing, he said and added that the recovery rate at 100 per cent had been exemplary.
Mr Nishtar stated that in the North West Frontier Province, two branches — one each in Dera Ismail Khan and Kohat— were already functioning while a third branch would become operational in Mardan in the next month with an initial disbursement of five million rupees.
Similarly, in the next phase, three more branches would be opened in the Hazara division. They would be in Mansehra, Haripur and Abbottabad from where the division would be covered through the help of various teams.
The bank’s president of the NWFP region, Syed Mutahir Shah, said the rate of recovery of loans in the province had been 95 per cent.
Later, the provincial minister for Auqaf, social welfare and religious affairs, Qari Roohullah Madani, distributed cheques worth Rs500,000 among 50 applicants from the minority community at a ceremony, held at the Brigade Mandar on the occasion of Janam Din.
The minister, in his speech at another ceremony, held at the Fateh Khan Khel village, hoped that Khushhali Bank would extend monetary help to the deserving people only on merit to create business activities in the country in real terms.
He called upon the youth to avail of this opportunity of small loans to change the government-service trend and create a business- oriented base in the country.
He urged them to make the best use of their abilities by starting their own businesses instead of relying on government jobs.
The executive director of the bank, Uzair Hanafi; regional manager of Kohat, Fahimullah Khan; district Nazim Malik Asad, district coordination officer and a large number of councillors also attended the function.