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KARACHI: The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Muhammad Aurangzeb on Friday asked banks for lending to priority sectors to stimulate economic growth and development in the country.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Muhammad Aurangzeb, convened a significant meeting with the representatives of banking sector at SBP head office. The meeting was attended by Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Jameel Ahmed and CEOs and presidents of various leading banks in Pakistan.

According to a statement issued after the meeting, the primary agenda of the meeting was to discuss and strategize enhancing financing and lending to priority sectors to stimulate economic growth and development in Pakistan.

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During the meeting, Minister Finance provided a comprehensive briefing on the current economic situation of the country, highlighting the government’s ongoing efforts to promote economic stability, fiscal discipline, and sustainable growth.

Aurangzeb emphasized the critical role of the banking sector in supporting the government’s development agenda and urged the banks to increase financing and lending to priority sectors, namely agriculture, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), and Information Technology (IT).

Furthermore, Minister Aurangzeb requested the Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA) to lead a task force comprising representatives from the banking sector, government, and relevant stakeholders, with the primary objective to accelerate financing in the priority sectors and devise actionable strategies to overcome the existing challenges and bottlenecks hindering the growth of these vital sectors.

Aurangzeb reiterated the government’s commitment to working closely with the banking sector to address the financing needs of priority sectors and ensure the effective implementation of the proposed strategies and initiatives.

SBP Governor Jameel Ahmed expressed his support for the Minister’s initiatives and emphasized the SBP’s commitment to facilitating an enabling environment for banks to increase lending to priority sectors. He highlighted the SBP’s role in providing regulatory support, policy guidance and financial incentives to encourage banks to expand their financing activities in alignment with the government’s priorities.

The meeting concluded with a mutual understanding to strengthen collaboration between the Ministry of Finance, the SBP and the banking sector to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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