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> Microfinance sector helps alleviate poverty, improves the living standards in Pakistan
   PILDAT Briefing Session on Microfinance and the Society: Lahore April 20 and Islamabad April 21, 2009
 

April 21, 2009
Islamabad

   

Islamabad, April 21: Two briefing sessions on Microfinance were held in Lahore and Islamabad dated April 20, 2009 and April 21, 2009 respectively. Session in Lahore was for MPAs, Media, Government Officials and Intellectuals and was held at Hotel PC Lahore; where as session in Islamabad was for the Parliamentarians and was held at Hotel Marriott, Islamabad.

 
 

Briefing Session on Microfinance, Lahore

The objective of the briefing session was to enhance the level of awareness of audience regarding the Microfinance and hence a few detailed presentations were given by Mr. Rashid Bajwa, Chairman Pakistan Microfinance Network; Ms. Roshaneh Zafar, President Kashf Foundation / Kashf Microfinance Bank and Mr. Sanjay Sinha, Managing Director, Micro Credit Ratings International Limited India.

 
 

During the briefing session an overview of the Microfinance was presented along with Challenges facing Pakistan was discussed. Moreover, a case study on Microfinance in India was also presented. Members of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab appreciated the Microfinance Institutions for the efforts done to provide honorable living means to the poorest people of the country through Micro Credit. Media was concerned about the higher rates of interest charged on the credits provided to the poor people, however this was well answered by the leading experts on microfinance present in the session and it was said that Microfinance providers charge higher interest rates due to the charging of high interest rates by commercial banks, the main source of money lending for utilization in providing Micro Credit.

 
 

Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director of PILDAT said that the briefing session is conducted so that public representative, Media and Government Officials along with Intellectuals of the society can get know how on the Microfinance.

 
 

Speaker from the India Mr. Sanjay Sinha presented an overview of Microfinance in India and discussed about the growth in the Microfinance sector in India so that people in Pakistan can learn how Microfinance works in the neighboring country.

 
 

Mr. Rashid Bajwa presented a detailed overview of Microfinance in Pakistan and how the sector is spreading in Pakistan. It was said that the Microfinance sector is developing very quickly in Pakistan due to the demanding needs of the society. Punjab was rated the highest in the list of micro-credit borrowers.

 
 

Ms. Roshaneh Zafar presented a detailed overview of Microfinance in Pakistan and the challenges Microfinance facing in Pakistan. She briefed about the performance of Kashf Foundation and Kashf Microfinance Bank. She said that there comes threat to the MF sector when public representatives issue statement of loan written-off for the whole public. A support was also requested from the MPA of Punjab Assembly to help the sector groom and expand so that more and more people who are living below the poverty line can get the Micro Credit and live a dignified life by starting some business.

 
 

Briefing Session on Microfinance, Islamabad

The objective of the briefing session was to enhance the level of awareness of audience regarding the Microfinance and hence a few detailed presentations were given by Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, Member of the National Assembly; Ms. Roshaneh Zafar, President Kashf Foundation / Kashf Microfinance Bank and Mr. Sanjay Sinha, Managing Director, Micro Credit Ratings International Limited India.

 
 

Members of the National Assembly and Senate appreciated the Microfinance Institutions for the efforts done to provide honorable living means to the poorest people of the country through Micro Credit. It was said that more clientage should be achieved in the province of NWFP and Balochistan as the Microfinance Institutions seem to be concentrated just on Punjab and for some parts of Sind.

During the briefing session, an overview of the Microfinance was presented along with Challenges facing Pakistan. Moreover, a case study on Microfinance in India was also presented. Members of the Parliament appreciated the Microfinance Institutions for the efforts done to provide honorable living means to the poorest people of the country through Micro Credit with a few concerns on the interest rates charges on the micro credit provided however this was answered by the leading experts on Microfinance present in the session, that, Microfinance providers charge higher interest rates due to the charging of high interest rates by commercial banks, the main source of money lending for utilization in providing Micro Credit.

Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, Executive Director of PILDAT said that the briefing session is conducted so that public representatives can get know how on the Microfinance and to help the work of Microfinance Institutions working in Pakistan.

Speaker from the India, Mr. Sanjay Sinha, presented an overview of Microfinance in India and discussed about the growth in the Microfinance sector in India. He said development in the sector has been seen in past few years.

Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, member of the national assembly presented an overview of Microfinance in Pakistan in context to poverty alleviation. She said that public representatives need to support the work done by the Microfinance Institutions as the clientage is very low and potential is great.

Ms. Roshaneh Zafar presented a detailed overview of Microfinance in Pakistan and the challenges Microfinance facing in Pakistan. She highlighted security concerns for the Microfinance Institutions in a few parts of NWFP and Sind.