WB Coun­try Di­rec­tor dis­cusses fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion strat­egy with SBP act­ing chief

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS - Staff Re­porter

The World Bank Coun­try Di­rec­tor for Pak­istan, Rachid Ben­mas­soud, called on Gover­nor (act­ing) State Bank of Pak­istan, Saeed Ah­mad, to en­hance col­lab­o­ra­tion un­der on­go­ing projects for im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Na­tional Fi­nan­cial In­clu­sion Strat­egy and ex­plore new op­por­tu­ni­ties for strength­en­ing of the bank­ing sec­tor.

Saeed Ah­mad high­lighted the fact that fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion has been re­cently el­e­vated to global de­vel­op­ment agenda due to its sig­nif­i­cance for im­prov­ing liveli­hoods and its preva­lence across the world. Ev­i­dence sug­gests that coun­tries with a clear fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion strat­egy achieved bet­ter re­sults as com­pared to those which have no strat­egy. He pointed out that fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion is very im­por­tant for Pak­istan as it is crit­i­cal for poverty alle­vi­a­tion and at­tain­ing fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity.

He con­veyed his ap­pre­ci­a­tion for cre­at­ing the en­vi­ron­ment for mu­tual col­lab­o­ra­tion.

Rachid Ben­mas­soud said that the World Bank val­ued its part­ner­ship with SBP for uni­ver­sal fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion in Pak­istan and the part­ner­ship has been re­cently ac­knowl­edged even at the World Bank's Board level. He shared that the World Bank has been work­ing on a Coun­try Sup­port Pa­per (CSP) which will pro­vide tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance for im­ple­men­ta­tion of the re­cently adopted Na­tional Fi­nan­cial In­clu­sion Strat­egy (NFIS) to pro­mote uni­ver­sal fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion in the coun­try.

The State Bank launched Pak­istan's first ever 'Na­tional Fi­nan­cial In­clu­sion Strat­egy (NFIS)' at a public event which was chaired by Fi­nance Min­is­ter, Sen­a­tor Muham­mad Ishaq Dar on 22nd May 2015 at Is­lam­abad. The strat­egy was de­vel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the World Bank and through an elab­o­rate con­sul­ta­tive process with all stake­hold­ers. The strat­egy has been in­stru­men­tal in cre­at­ing a com­mon na­tional vi­sion for uni­ver­sal fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion in Pak­istan and will in­form all stake­hold­ers about their re­spec­tive roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to­wards achiev­ing the na­tional tar­gets for fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion. A high level NFIS Coun­cil which is chaired by the Fed­eral Fi­nance Min­is­ter, and Gover­nor SBP, Chair­men of SECP, FBR, PTA and Pro­vin­cial Fi­nance Sec­re­taries as mem­bers, will over­see its im­ple­men­ta­tion. The NFIS Steer­ing Com­mit­tee which is chaired by SBP Gover­nor with high-level tech­ni­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion from the rel­e­vant public and pri­vate sec­tor stake­hold­ers will im­ple­ment the Strat­egy un­der the guid­ance of the NFIS Coun­cil with sup­port from var­i­ous tech­ni­cal com­mit­tees. The WB and SBP also ex­changed views on tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance for bank­ing sec­tor, in­clud­ing En­ter­prise Risk Man­age­ment, and other sec­tors of the econ­omy.

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