‘Financial inclusion of women imperative for economic growth’

SBP governor says only 15pc of Pakistan’s adult female population possess active bank accounts

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KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir, while seeking concerted efforts for economic empowerment of women in the country, particularly emphasized the need to encourage them to hold active bank accounts.

Addressing the “CEO Summit Asia 2020” organized by CEO Club Pakistan and Management House, he mentioned that only 15 per cent of the adult female population of the country possess active bank accounts.

“This is a major challenge before the SBP as this is even lower than the South Asian average which is 65pc,” he said.

The event was also addressed by Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Andleeb Abbas, CEO Club Pakistan Founder Ijaz Nisar, Karachi Port Trust Chairman Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar, Pakistan Stock Exchange Chairman Sulaiman S Mehdi, Sindh Bank President Imran Samad, Arif Habib Corporation Chairman & CEO Arif Habib and former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair.

The SBP governor said the major question was why there was such phenomenal difference between the percentage of Pakistani adult female population having active bank accounts and the South Asian average of the same.

“One of the strategies being used by SBP to address this is the promotion of entrepreneurship among the female population of the country,” he said, mentioning that attention was also being paid to promote money transaction through electronic and digital means.

Mentioning that a platform is in process of being launched to promote micropayment gateway, he said this would put Pakistan prominently on the map of the countries having advanced systems of electronic and digital means of money transactions to do business.

In the context of women empowerment in the realms of economy, concerted efforts were said to be made for the growth of the small and medium enterprises in the country.

“State Bank of Pakistan would ensure that SMEs may get financing from banks in the country,” said Dr Raza Baqir.

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