MULTAN-Regional Director of National Savings Muhammad Jehangir Shahid disclosed on Tuesday that the countrywide deposits of Central Directorate National Savings rose beyond the mark of Rs4,000 billion, surpassing the total deposits of commercial banks.

Briefing journalists here at regional headquarters, he added that the total deposits of banks stood at Rs3,000 billion while the National Savings deposits went beyond Rs4,000 billion. He told the journalists that the target for the current financial year stood at Rs10 billion deposits.

He declared that the facility of ATM machines would soon be available at regional branches following the automation of branches. At least 100 branches have been automated out of 370 and the technical work is underway at the rest of branches to provide ATM infrastructure. He disclosed that big cities like Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Islamabad would get ATM facility in first phase while Multan region including South Punjab and Hyderabad would be atomized in second phase.

Giving details of schemes, he claimed that Behbood scheme turned out to be a big success as it brought Rs. 32 billion deposits in just Multan. “We have 350,000 accounts including 56,000 Behbood Accounts and 20,000 Pensioners’ Benefit Accounts in Multan district,” he added.

Responding to a question on shortage of staff, he said that the Multan region was short of 150 employees including 70 security personnel but steps were being taken to make up the shortage.  He said that National Savings Schemes have attracted Rs 90 billion investment in schemes in Multan region.

Meanwhile, the chamber of commerce and industry have sought applications from traders till May 15 to participate in a “Life Style Pakistan” exhibition to be held in New Dehli.

President South Punjab Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Fatima Leghari, Tuesday said that the four-day “Life Style Pakistan” commercial and industrial exhibition would start from September 11 to 14. She said Pakistani businesspeople would display leather products, garments, fashion wear, garments, textile, jewellery, handicraft, foot wear, herbal products, marble and granite products.