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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance has unanimously approved the Pakistan Single Window Bill 2021, after detailed deliberation.

There were many bills on the agenda of the Senate Finance Committee presided over by Senator Farooq H Naek on Monday, however, some agenda items were dropped following the absence of the movers.

As the meeting progressed, Senator Mohsin Aziz drew the attention of the committee about allocating a very nominal percentage of their total loan portfolio for the people of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and 0.4 percent to the people of Balochistan.

Banks have allocated/provided merely one percent of their total loan portfolio to the people of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and 0.4 percent to the people of Balochistan.

He also reminded the committee that this issue was also discussed in the past as well and suggested that the State Bank if Pakistan (SBP) should introduce concessionary schemes for the KP and Balochistan.

The meeting also informed that there are five branches of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) in the South Asian Region and approval was taken to close two branches one in Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The meeting was informed that the NBP branches at Jalalabad and Bangladesh were facing persistent losses.

Additionally, approval is also being sought for closing the NBP branches at Chittagong and Dhaka as well.

The meeting was informed that approval was taken from the Ministry of Finance, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and the relevant regulator.

The meeting was informed that 23 branches of the bank were established in various countries.

The chairman of the committee directed that details of loans given by the responsible officials and banks along with the reason of losses for consideration and review of the committee.

Senator Mushtaq Ahmed maintained that there are flaws in the AML law that was passed owing to the FATF requirements and stated that he wanted to move an amendment.

He said that he does agree to the reply provided by the department, upon this, the chairman of the committee stated that what point highlighted by you is not in your proposed bill.

He asked the members to withdraw the bill and submit a new draft bill to the committee.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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