KARACHI - State Bank of Pakistan has celebrated its 70 years anniversary on Sunday with a number of programmes taking place simultaneously here SBP's Main Building.

These activities were aimed sharing 70th years history of the central bank and bridging the information gap on various functions and achievements of SBP and its subsidiaries.

The programme was attended by a cross section of society, particularly school children, said SBP statement.

The bank organized an insightful panel discussion on this historical occasion covering a wide variety of topics including macroeconomic management, SBP's conduct of monetary policy and role in promotion of credit extension to priority areas and use of digital innovations and technology in providing banking services.

In this discussion, Caretaker Finance Minister and former governor SBP Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Governor SBP Tariq Bajwa, SBP's former governors Dr.Ishrat Husain, Yaseen Anwar and Ashraf Mahmood Wathra participated.

The participants shared their thoughts and candid views on their experiences and future vision for the Bank and congratulated executives and staff of the SBP for achieving several milestones in its 70 years journey.

Governor SBP Tariq Bajwa in his concluding remarks stated that the SBP had always strived to living up to expectations of Quaid-e-Azam pertaining to professionalism and forward-looking approach in discharging its mandate.

A special documentary focusing on the history of the SBP was also screened during the seminar. The documentary portrayed challenges confronted by the Bank right after its inception, and its subsequent journey towards professional excellence.

Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair, former SBP governors, the SBP Board members, diplomats, media personalities, presidents and CEOs of commercial banks and dignitaries of the city, attended the seminar.

On this special occasion, the Bank organized special exhibitions and Open House session that remained open to public and ran throughout the day. Mr. M.W Farooqui, the senior most employee of the Bank inaugurated the Open House at the age of 95 years. Mr. Farooqui has the distinction of attending the inauguration of State Bank of Pakistan by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on July 1, 1948.

Visitors from different walks of life were enthralled to be part of festivities that were started at Museum & Art Gallery and the Main Banking Hall. Dr. Shamshad Akhtar inaugurated the exhibition and unveiled the commemorative stamp issued by Pakistan Post. Akbar Ali Dero, the Postmaster General, Pakistan Post was also present on this occasion. Enlarged images of the stamps issued  earlier were also displayed while a corner of the Museum was dedicated to the photographs of the past SBP governors along with coins and currency notes issued during their tenure.

The general public turned out in droves in Open House session. In order to provide the public maximum information on this day in a befitting manner, special counters were set up for the sale of Commemorative Coins and Prize Bonds to visitors. There was an exhibition of currency cycle and the stalls showcased Currency designing and printing processes and live demonstration of Currency notes examination machines, prize bonds draw. Live demonstrations of Desktop Notes Sorting (DNS) and Countertop Notes Sorting (CNS) machines; and Video display of state of the art notes processing system (BPAS Machine used by SBP) was also arranged for the interest of general public.

Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair said that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is an important stakeholder for progress and prosperity of economy of the country as its performance has a direct bearing on economic indicators.

While acknowledging its role as a monetary regulator, the governor said that it had a huge responsibility to initiate and sustain business-friendly environment besides ensuring execution of government's initiatives and policies for the progress of every sector of economy. The governor said that the idea of consultation with former governors was a brilliant one as it would ensure better working of SBP, as the former governors would present their vision for the future based on experiences as the head of this premium institution. The suggestions floated by them would make SBP a better entity, he added

Governor Zubair while recalling the 2013 situation said that five years ago, Pakistan was facing two existential threats law and order situation and energy crisis and the conditions were so worse that no foreigner was willing to come to Pakistan specially in Karachi even on a day trip. Investments, both local and foreign were near to non-existent at that time, he added and said that we knew that peace was the key for economic development, and that's why emphasis was laid to make the economic hub of the country a peaceful place for investment.

He said that in reality, Pakistan was a far better place for investment than the perception present globally. We have conducted many road shows to clear this perception, and went to USA, UK, UAE, and Qatar to present the case of Pakistan to the global investors. He said now reality about Pakistan is prevailing and with the arrival of CPEC, foreign investors are coming in numbers to invest in their chosen field of economy.