ISLAMABAD              -         A parliamentary committee has expressed its displeasure on the absence of State Bank of Pakistan governor and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) president from the meeting.

Meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs of the National Assembly was held under the chairmanship of Faiz Ullah, MNA. Due to the absence of Governor SBP and President NBP, the committee deferred the agenda pertaining to SBP and NBP, and decided that next meeting of the Committee would be convened in Karachi.

A representative from NBP informed that President, NBP could not attend the meeting due to delay of flights from Karachi to Islamabad. The Committee members were of the view that governor SBP and president NBP should arrive well in time in Islamabad.

Member (Custom Operations), FBR replied the questions raised by the committee members with regard to the hurdles being faced by the importers at Karachi Port. The Committee decided that an exclusive meeting will be held in that regard.

President, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) briefed the Committee about the organizational structure and core operations of the Bank i.e. disbursement of loans through various pre-designed lending schemes, covering the productivity & value addition model, recovery of advances/outstanding loans, deposits & resource mobilization and treasury operations. The Committee noted the higher rates of interest by the Bank. The Committee also expressed its concern about the disbursement of province-wise loans and directed the ZTBL to rationalize the lending in the country.

President, ZTBL further informed that ZTBL has planned to launch full-fledged Islamic Banking from 2019, which will make ZTBL as first agriculture financial institution of the country offering shariah compliant banking and financing services. He also informed that Bank was implementing crop loan insurance scheme for five major crops (wheat, cotton, sugarcane, rice and Maize) to mitigate the risk of losses occurring to agricultural borrowers due to natural climates and risks of defaults to bank. He briefed the way forward plan by the ZTBL.

The Committee expressed its apprehensions about the delay for appointing ZTBL Board by the Ministry of Finance, and directed that the summary in this regard must be sent to Cabinet for final approval.

The meeting was attended by MNAs Raza Nasrullah, Faheem Khan, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Chaudhary Khalid Javed, Ali Pervaiz, Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Ms Nafisa Shah, Ms Hina Rabbani Khar, Abdul Wasay, besides the senior officers from Ministry of Finance, FBR, NBP and ZTBL.