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Quaidian Speaker At Campus, QAU Alumni Association Pakistan

University Industry Linkages should be strengthened to boost up economy of the country” was stated by Mr. Ghalib Nishtar President Khushhali bank Limited Pakistan in a seminar on the topic: Striving towards a more equitable Pakistan-Microfinance jointly organized by Quaid-i-Azam University Alumni Association and Department of Economics Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad.

The seminar was well attended by faculty members, scholars and students. The lecture was among the series of the lectures that QAU Alumni Association has planned for the year 2010.The title of this series is “Quaidian Speaker at Campus”. The motivation behind the beginning of such initiative is to bring the Alumni closer to the University and thus with this initiative they would be able to share their experience and expertise with the current students.

In his keynote address, Mr. Ghalib Nishtar highlighted the background, scope and impact of microfinance in Pakistan. He was of the view that in a globally connected world, we should be ready to face up new realities, changes and come up with appropriate solutions. Public & private sector should undertake such programmes which are more effective in targeting the vulnerable and have the necessary accountability and transparency.

He further added that through microfinance initiatives, financial services and great support has been provided to low income segments of the society especially in rural and far flung areas of Pakistan. This service delivery imitative to the less privileged families at such large scale would be of a great help in strengthening economy, poverty alleviation, promoting equality and social justice in Pakistan.

“One of the challenges that Pakistan faces today is low service delivery whether its education, health or financial services. These services are restricted to very few people. We do not deliver quality services to majority of people which is the low income population and they are left out of the main system,” he said.

Ghalib Nishtar said disparity in income is an immediate challenge and there is a need to take steps to rectify the situation in favor of the common people, he said.

He said although there is a huge banking system but total service provided by these banks is only about four to five million borrowers and the total saving accounts are about 10 to 12 million accounts. He said micro finance is way to bridge the gap between two classes of society.

In his presentation, Mr. Nishtar informed the participants that in Pakistan there are eight banks, four rural support programmes, five specialized institutions and thirty one non-government organizations with more than fourteen hundred outlets are actively working on microfinance in Pakistan. Mostly their services are based on: 34% in trade, 27% agriculture and 7% in services. This widespread network of microfinance institutions has also created a lot of job opportunities for the local people especially in less developed areas of Pakistan. Due to effective microfinance services and countrywide microfinance network by Khushhali bank Pakistan, the global microscope on the microfinance business environment released by the Economist Intelligence Unit recently ranks Pakistan at eleven on the global ranking index. He urged for collaborative efforts among public, private finical institutes and academia for converting Pakistani economy stronger.

Dr. Naveed-i-Rahat Acting Vice Chancellor Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad, Mr. Sikandar Ahmed Rai President QAU Alumni Association, Mr. Asif Noor Chief Coordinator QAU Alumni Association, Mr. Murtaza Noor Project Manger Higher Education Commission, Dr. Tariq Javed Chairman Department of Economics, Dr. Lubna Abid Chairperson Department of International Relations and other senior faculty members were also present there.