KARACHI: National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) will provide 'very soft loans' to people at large to enable them to own a residence under the Prime Minister's Naya Pakistan Housing Program (NPHP), its top official said.
“This project will help revive the economy affected by COVID-19, which gave rise to serious economic challenges for many countries,” said Arif Usmani, President NBP, addressing an Independence Day related ceremony at the bank’s headquarter.
He said it was a revolutionary initiative that would improve the living standard of the common man and generate big economic activity in the country.
“The construction industry has great potential to grow and more than 40 other industries directly linked to it,” he added.
PM Imran Khan was personally monitoring the progress in this housing program and was regularly getting feedback from the concerned organizations /agencies including NBP, he said.
He said this premier government commercial bank (NBP) had recently gone through various policy, structural, and technology upgrades, which would start yielding results within six months.
Usmani said since its inception, NBP had been playing a pivotal role in the development of the country.
Serving the nation with more than 1500 branches, NBP was catering to every aspect of banking including Islamic banking, corporate banking, trade finance, agriculture, SMEs and retail, treasury and home remittances, he added.
“We proudly discharge our responsibility of functioning as government treasury and have the largest rural network in banking industry,” he said adding NBP had taken a lead role in government initiated lending and goodwill programs like PM Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme and now PM Housing Scheme.
The NBP chief said efficient management the foreign exchange was the need of the country and NBP had taken initiatives for promoting remittances through legal channels that included collaboration with Pakistan Post which created the largest remittance payment network in the country with over 2000 payment locations.
Besides, he said, customised products in collaboration with Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment had been launched to provide banking facilities to intending emigrant workers. As a result, NBP’s market share in remittance business along with remittances volume had considerably increased in the last two years.
He said significant population of the country was below the poverty line and promoting SMEs would greatly help address this situation.
Government of Pakistan was making all out efforts to address these economic challenges and NBP was committed to deliver on the national agenda of inclusive development.
Usmani said due to its best performance, NBP had got two prestigious awards this year.
He said the global regulatory environment poses a lot of challenges to the banking sector in particular and Pakistan's economy in general. "NBP has taken various measures to meet certain FATF compliance requirements," he added.
COVID-19 had affected every sector and every organization; however, with their professional commitment and high national spirit NBP employees continued to serve the nation in the best possible way despite all the difficulties, he said.