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October 22, 2017

Speakers call for social justice, poverty alleviation


October 22, 2017

MKRMS seminar: Poverty is increasing due to low GDP and inequality. It is the responsibility of the state to eradicate poverty. As long as the country will not be free of poverty, it cannot be fully on path to progress. Women’s empowerment is very important. These views were expressed by the speakers during a seminar on eradication of poverty organised by the Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society (Jang Group of Newspapers) and Punjab Microfinance Network. The event was presided over by Begum Zakiya Shahnawaz, Minister of Environment Protection. Hamida Wahidudin, Minister for Women Development, and Jamil Ahmad, deputy governor of State Bank, were the chief guests of the conference. Dr Amjad Saqib, head of Akhuwat, Syed Mohsin Ali,  PMN CEO, Yasir Ishfaq, PMIC CEO, Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora, MPA, Uzma Zahid Bukhari, MPA, Seemi Kamal, senior group head, PPAF, Liaqat Ali Dola, CRO, SECP, journalist Sohail Warraich, Anwar Rashid, OCT, Gulbaz Afaqi, Unwanud Din, senior vice-president UBL, Mian M A Shahid, Chairman, United International Group, Unaza Ehsan Butt, ex-MNA, Qazi Shoaib Alam Farooqi, chief executive, JWS Pakistan, Muhammad Irfan Khokhar, CEO, FFO and Sajjad Imran were the guest speakers of the event. 

Mubarik Ali Sarwar, CEO, Punjab Microfinance Network, delivered welcome speech and Muhammad Murtaza, chairperson, Punjab Microfinance Network, delivered vote of thanks. The seminar was hosted by Wasif Nagi, chairman, Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society. 

Begum Zakiya Shahnawaz said that the population of Pakistan was increasing rapidly and people were facing many problems. People have no facilities due to poverty. Rural women are also working in different factories and they are the guardians of their families.

Jamil Ahmad said that inequality was increasing rapidly. The problems can be solved through social justice. Hamida Wahidudin said that women’s social empowerment was very necessary. If women are strong socially, they will be able to move ahead. Women are being exploited. 

Mubarik Ali Sarwar said that Punjab microfinance organizations were striving to make financially strong the people in different districts. This network is of national level and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, was regulating it. At present, 11 micro-finance companies are associated with it and striving to rid the people of poverty. Dr Amjad Saqib said that poverty was the name of deprivation and it existed in many forms. "Even after 70 years, we are still suffering from poverty and 40 percent people are living below the poverty line," he added.

Uzma Zahid Bukhari said, "The world is discovering new planets but we are quite behind." People should use the loans correctly. Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora said that microfinance organisations were improving. Punjab government is striving for the betterment of people. At this time, the problem of food adulteration has become grave. "It has become a challenge for us," he added.

 Sohail Warraich said that State Bank was working very well. It needs to start projects of student loan. Moreover, it also needs to start housing finance scheme so that people can pay their installment as much as they can pay rent for the house.

Gulbaz Afaqi said eradication of poverty was the responsibility of the state. State is established so that the problems of the people can be resolved.

Wasif Nagi said that Punjab Microfinance Network is a provincial network comprising 11 micro-finance organisations operating at the Punjab level. The purpose of the organisation is to provide financial and social services to deprived communities of society.

Yasir Ishfaq said that micro-finance was mentioned in the first nine goals of SGDP. It is an important source. Micro-finance needs to be understood and it has many branches. Through this, many people are benefited.

Saqib Siddiqui said that there were many small farmers in Pakistan. Fifty million clients, most of them associated with agriculture, have benefited from such microfinance organisations. He said that insurance product was being launched for the farmers of Gujrawala, Narowal, Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahab.

Syed Mohsin Ahmad said financing service should be given to the market. Seemi Kamal said that according to a World Bank report, Pakistan had got highest growth rate in 10 years.


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