KARACHI - Expanding its present operations of agriculture sector loans, the Zarai Tarqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) will also finance to introduce wind mills, solar energy and to receive remittances of Pakistanis living abroad. However, on the pattern of credit cards, bank would also issue 'Benazir Credit Cards for farmers very soon. Ali Akbar Shah Deputy General Secretary Officers Association of ZTBL Karachi zone said this while addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club on Tuesday. Other officers of ZTBL, Muhammad Akbar Umrani, Ehtram Ul Masood and Kaleer Rehman Yousafzai were also accompanied him in the press conference. The bank officers unveiled that ZTBL will extend its services to collect remittances very soon, while an agreement between Bank and Western Union was underway in this regard. At least five new branches of bank have been opened during last year, while 16 more branches to be opened this year, they said, adding that 26 more branches would be opened during next year FY20010-11. They further said that ZTBL has already extended its services to collect utility bills of electricity, phone and gas to provide facility to the people of rural areas. However, the efforts are underway to start online banking operations from 31st December 2009. Furthermore, the 'Model Villages will also be established in the country by bank as one village has been chosen at Sakro in Thatta District for this project, where all the basic facilities like clean water for drinking, electricity, dispensary, educational institutions, drainage and roads will also be provided by bank, officers said, adding that bank will also grant loans to the hopefuls who approached for establishment of model villages in other areas of the province. They also disclosed that another agreement between ZTBL and Nestle Company has been finalised, which would promote dairy sector. Under this agreement, at least Rs0.5 million loans would be granted to open milk shops in Karachi, they said, adding that these loans would be provided on nominal mark-up rate of 9 per cent. They added that ZTBL has initiated a scheme, under which one per cent exemption will be given on loan, paid before the time fixed payment. Moreover, a project to introduce bio-institute will also be initiated this year in collaboration with Pakistan Agriculture Research Centre. The bank officers said that at least 1249 tractors would be handed over to farmers by ZTBL Karachi Zone during a lucky draw ceremony to be held on August 14, 2009, as government will give Rs0.2 million subsidy on each tractor. Praising the ZTBL chief Zaka Asharaf, they said that a huge number of 1600 bank officers have been promoted during his tenure.