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PESHAWAR: Traders here on Tuesday urged the Federal Banking Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Pakistan to reduce the duration of complaint registration to 10 days, which is currently 45 days, in order to ensure swift disposal of cases against various commercial banks and to provide them speedy relief.

Banking Mohtasib of Pakistan should take notice of discriminatory attitude of commercial banks, which has caused huge financial losses on head of penalty and additional charges, the business community demanded. The traders also complained about declaring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa into a ‘red zone’ by commercial banks, because of which, lending ratio is less than 2 per cent against the swelling deposits in the province.

Members of the business community made these remarks during a meeting, chaired by Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI’s) president Hasnain Khurshid Ahmad on the visit of Federal Banking Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Kamran Shehzad here at the chamber house. Besides, former FPCCI president Ghazanfar Bilour, former presidents Riaz Arshad, Malik Niaz Ahmad, former senior vice presidents Engr. Manzoor Elahi, Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, former vice president Abidullah Yousafzai, executive members Minhajuddin, and Rashid Iqbal Siddique, Ihsanullah, Saddar Gul, Ishtiaq Muhammad, Fazal Wahid, Sohail Javed along with Senior Legal Advisor Federal Banking Mohtasib Saleem Akhtar, Regional Manager Peshawar Rehmatullah, a large number of industrialists, exporters, importers and traders were present during the meeting.

Hasnain Khurshid in his opening remarks said that the commercial banks were deducted interest on quarterly basis while the banks made payment of profits by end of the month, which, according to him, is discrimination and unfair, so he urged, the Banking Mohtasib to take notice of it immediately.

The chamber president suggested the linking of SCCI’s web portal with Federal Banking Mohtasib of Pakistan, saying that the portal has already directly linked with more than 600 public sector institutions, which has played a pivotal role in amicable redressal of business community complaints through taking them with department concerned in efficient manner.

Khurshid also raised the issue of letter of credits (LCs) that were related to commercial banks, saying that the business community has faced enormous difficulties owing to shortage of dollars in the market. Therefore, he urged the banking ombudsman to play its due role in resolving this issue.

Traders also urged the commercial banks to ensure effective monitoring of fraud and fake cases that caused billions of rupees loss.

The Federal Banking Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Pakistan was established in back in 2005-06, which has undertaken proactive steps to facilitate business community and provide them relief under its domain/mandate at every level, says Kamran Shehzad while responding to various queries of the traders during the meeting.

Around 36,000 complaints were registered during the last year against various commercial banks, of which 70 per cent has been decided, the senior official said.

Approximately, he said a hefty amount of Rs 760 Million relief has so far been provided by Federal Mohtasib in the last year. Before the preceding year, he said another heavy amount of Rs 510 Million relief was given by the Banking ombudsman of Pakistan. Similarly, he said a relief of Rs 530 Million has so far been provided till June 2022. He disclosed they have set a target of Rs 1 Billion, hoping the target would be achieved by the end of this year.

Kamran Shehzad claimed that 95 per cent pleas against decisions of Federal Banking Mohtasib of Pakistan were rejected, which is causing great satisfaction on part of complainants and a step toward speedy relief to them. He informed that his institution has sent written amendments in rules for reduction in duration of complaints registration. On the occasion, he assured the business community that his institutions would continue to facilitate services and provide relief under its domain/mandate to them at every level.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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