Locker holders advised to get insured their valuables

KARACHI: Acting Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Saeed Ahmad on Wednesday advised bank locker holders to get insured total worth of their valuables to avoid loss in case of any bank heist.

He was talking to media at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) after having a detailed meeting with KCCI office-bearers and Managing Committee members.

He said that currently locker holders get insurance policy on the basis of locker size so in case of any unfortunate incident they are compensated on this basis which may cause a big loss to them.

To a question he said that safety of lockers was in fact responsibility of banks but in broader aspect maintaining law and order situation was liability of the government. He dispelled the impression that State Bank was going to freeze the US dollar at Rs 98, saying that SBP did not have the authority to do so.

Earlier, Saeed Ahmed assured the business community that the possibility of setting up the EXIM Bank to facilitate imports and exports of the country will soon be taken up with the Ministry of Finance and other relevant ministries.

He said that efforts being made by the businessmen and industrialists of Karachi city who remain committed and are making all out efforts to make substantial contribution to the national economy despite extremely unfavourable circumstances.

Commenting on Monetary Policy, he said that the decision to revise key interest rate in the monetary policy statement is taken after thoroughly reviewing the money supply situation and the inflation trends. Keeping in view the current inflationary trends, it is being forecasted that the next monetary policy may be revised as per aspirations of the business community, he added.

President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Abdullah Zaki, Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Idrees, Chairman Banking and Insurance Sub-Committee KCCI, Jahangir Shahid, Former President KCCI, A. Q. Khalil and Managing Committee members along with Executive Director State Bank of Pakistan, Muhammad Ashraf Khan and Director Islamic Banking SBP, Saleemullah were also present on the occasion.

Acting Governor SBP said that although government’s borrowing continue to remain high but the State Bank has planned to issue guidelines to commercial banks directing them to enhance lending to Agriculture sector, Micro-Finance sector, Small & Medium Enterprises and the exporters.

Commenting on growth and challenges being faced by Islamic banking in Pakistan, Saeed Ahmed said that the Central bank wants to lay solid foundations for the Islamic banking by focusing on removing the inequalities and sharing profits on equitable basis.

He stressed the need for capacity building in Islamic banking as the overall growth in Islamic banking sector of Pakistan was too far when compared with capacity building. “This needs to be addressed and we need to have qualified professionals in the Islamic banking system”, Saeed Ahmed added.

Replying to a question regarding compensation to the victims of the recent robbery in a private commercial bank, Acting Governor said that keeping in view the secrecy of lockers, it is impossible for the affected bank and the State Bank to assess the exact losses suffered by the locker holders. Only insurance companies can compensate these losses under the agreed insurance policy.

Speaking on the occasion, President KCCI Abdullah Zaki said: “Increase in lending rates leads to discourage private sector to go for credit, which in turn reduces investment, growth and production. Inflation hovering in single digit and strengthening of Pak Rupee has stabilized economic situation. However, to boost Pakistan’s exports, enhance GDP growth and increase tax collection in the economy, it is imperative that the discount rate be drastically reduced”.

He said that formation of Export-Import (EXIM) Bank is imperative for successful promotion and development of the exports sector in Pakistan.

“All regional countries including India, Bangladesh and China have EXIM banks while Pakistan is the only country without this facility,” he noted.

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