MULTAN - State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra has directed the banks to understand needs of the economy and focus on agricultural financing as it is a viable business activity, having huge cash flows, and significant contribution to GDP with strong backward and forward linkages.
He was addressing the annual meeting of the Agricultural Credit Advisory Committee (ACAC) which was held under his chairmanship in Multan here on Friday.
The meeting was attended by senior officers of SBP, presidents and executives from commercial banks, specialised banks, microfinance banks and Islamic banks, representatives of federal and provincial governments, and farmer associations.
While delivering his keynote address, Wathra highlighted the active role played by the central bank for promoting agri finance in the country. He emphasized that over the years SBP has adapted itself into the role of a facilitator and developmental partner of financial institutions to accelerate the growth of agriculture finance in the country.
He further stressed that financial institutions need to strengthen their agricultural finance policies, increase dedicated human resource, simplify lending procedures, rationalise lending rates, work diligently for creating mass awareness, and develop other prerequisites for building lending portfolios and timely provision of credit to farmers and harness untapped potential of agri. credit demand in the country.
While concluding, the SBP governor reiterated the SBP's vision on financial inclusion and the ongoing efforts for broadening access to finance to the least served segments of the country.
The financial institutions are encouraged to explore new markets, develop innovative products, increase use of alternative delivery channels, value chain financing, and create more linkages for improving livelihoods in the country.
He thanked the participants and hoped that all stakeholders will play their part in development of country.