Banks should not ignore KP, Fata: UBG

ISLAMABAD (INP): The United Business Group (UBG) of FPCCI on Wednesday said banks are generating a good amount of deposits from Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Fata but the local business community is being deprived of financing facility. “Commercial banks are exporting funds generated in Pakhtoonkhwa and Fata to other provinces which must be noticed as it is exploitation of the local business community”, it said. Commercial banks are getting 7.4 percent deposits from Pakhtoonkhwa while the ratio of loans is just 1.13 percent which is also hurting Pakistan’s trade with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, said Haji Naseemur Rehman, a central leader of the UBG. The stringent collateral requirements continue to disappoint business community and force them to opt for other means of transactions which is not only hurting agricultural and industrial expansion but also helping in the expansion of the black economy, he added. He said that the tendency is also hurting businesses, jobs and revenue which must be stopped in the national interests while the inflexible account opening requirements should also be eased.
Naseemur Rehman who is also running for the slot of the president of FPCCI in the upcoming elections said that the performance of banks should not be judged on the ratio of deposits but on the ratio of loans advanced to the private sector of the same area.
Banks are not only hurting the economy but also responsible for the exodus of businesses to Punjab and Karachi while pushing away investment from the province, he said, adding that the central bank should not play the role of a silent spectator.

Agri machinery imports increased by 31.98pc during 1st quarter
ISLAMABAD (APP): Agricultural machinery imports have increased by 31.98 per cent during the first quarter of current fiscal year (July-September) as compared to the same period of last year, according to PBS. According to the data provided by the PBS, agricultural machinery worth $42,733 was imported during the first quarter of current year as compared to $32,378 of last year. Construction and mining machinery worth $141,871 was imported during the first quarter of current year as compared to $167,457 of last year. Construction and mining machinery imports decreased by 15.28 per cent during the first quarter of current fiscal year as compared to the same period of last year. Power generating machinery worth $912,726 was imported during the first quarter of current year as compared to $1,210,266 of last year. Power generating machinery imports into the country decreased by 24.58 per cent during the first quarter of current fiscal year as compared to the same period of last year.

Office machine including data worth $134,970 was imported during the first quarter as compared to $187,072 of last year. Office machine imports decreased by 27.85 per cent during the first quarter of current fiscal year as compared to the same period of last year.

Fertilizers dealers ordered not to charge more than fixed price
MULTAN (APP): There is no shortage of any kind of fertilizer throughout Punjab and dealers have been told to display price list prominently at their sale points and not to charge more than the fixed price from farmers, agriculture spokesman said on Wednesday. The district administration has directed all the dealers of fertilizers, including Urea and DAP, to display the price list prominently at their sale points from Thursday onwards. The spokesman advised farmers not to pay more than the fixed price and obtain receipt from the seller. Farmers should convey information to officials via toll-free numbers 0800-15000, 0800- 29000 or 042-99200749, 99203709 in case of any complaint. Meanwhile, Punjab Secretary Agriculture Muhammad Mehmood on Wednesday directed officers to improve their performance. Chairing a meeting at the Deputy Commissioner's committee room in DG Khan, the secretary stressed upon officers to complete tasks at the earliest.
He termed soil sampling a revolutionary step and stated that soil health cards were being issued to farmers. The secretary directed officers to arrange farmers meeting at government offices. He also ordered to officers for installing at least 500 plants at every government farm.

E-gateway system being established to
facilitate transactions thru mobile banking
ISLAMABAD (APP): A state-of-the-art e-gateway system is being established at State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) at a cost of Rs200 million to facilitate transactions through e-gateway systems and mobile banking. Technical training of the service delivery organizations would also be undertaken through this project, an annual report issued by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) revealed. Highlighting the initiatives being taken for digital financial inclusion and mobile banking, the report said these included exemption from withholding tax on cash withdrawals by branchless banking agents. A Rs8 billion fund will be created at the SBP to provide loans to low-income segments through micro-finance banks. The government had launched Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC) last year jointly with DFID and KFW (German government-owned development bank) to augment availability of capital for Micro Finance institutions. It is estimated that this will lead to doubling of small loans.