Business and Investments
|Shaping up Rural Economy
ADB announced on 20th December, one programme loan of US$225m and a project loan of US$25m, totalling US$250. Programme loan is earmarked for the development of the rural financial infrastructure, while the project loan will be a kind of working capital with which the new bank on completion will start up its lending activities.
It may be observed that building up a structure is so expensive-forms 90 per cent of the total loan. Once it is up and running successfully, it will pay back its cost followed by benefits many times its original cost.
At a recent function at Gordon College Rawalpindi, Janab Shaukat Aziz,( a former Gordonian) financial advisor to the Prime Minister referred to the improving condition of the economy, which was confirmed by reports by reliable papers and the head of the SBP(State Bank of Pakistan). However, rural sector had to wait for its turn. This loan is going to help to start dealing with this problem.
It seems that studies have been done to identify the causes that have hindered the growth of the rural sector and then what can be done to eliminate those causes. It is established that the century old system of landlord being the banker, along with some low class lending banks in the rural areas choke the local enterprise, depressed growth of economy and distorted distribution of wealth. This will be phased out and replaced by the new bank to be called Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited. Among other things, it will absorb the existing small banks and will in turn be supervised by the State Bank of Pakistan. It's estimated that 180,000 new customers will join up and that it will create 80,000 full-time jobs by the end of 2005.
What has been said already is reiterated respectfully that one of the main aims of these writing is to somehow try and expand the outlook of ordinary Pakistani Christians. What is stopping ordinary Christians to have some of the fundamental skills that will be required in all these banks such as being good at the basic mathematical skills, fluent in spoken and written English and Urdu, having a reasonable standard of operating popular computer software, a sound, though basic knowledge of bookkeeping, and so on. Seeking a religious profession is not the only way of making a living. The government is set to link up its far-flung branches to its trunk. Let us try and join the mainstream hey! Or it might be extremely hard to catch up if we don't do anything about it now! Let me know how I can help.
David E Bhatti
We are proud to announce the addition of Business and investment Section in the Pakistan Christian Post website to enable our Pakistani Christian Business men in particular and all other communities in general to establish their contact with the business establishments around the world by posting their needs and demands. We invite our business community of Pakistan to join our business and investment coordination.
Here are the introductory comments of Mr. David Bhatti
Business and Investments
Here the emphasis will be on the Pakistani Christian community. So, those business news from Pakistan will be picked out that will be educational, that community should know about, opens up opportunities etc.
Investments will pick up the investment activities of Pakistani business community; will talk about various investment principles, methods and techniques etc. It will also talk about stock exchange activities, although I am not an expert in it. The latter is one area where big money can be made and also lost. I choose it because here one does not have to depend on other people for business. So, this is knowledge-based industry. You can see what I am getting at.
This will also cover my own field, namely accountancy and related subjects. I think I am going to emphasize why it is important to keep proper records. If I succeed in creating a general awareness of that, then you can see where it will lead. I have to admit, whereas I would like to name and shame the church hierarchy guilty of misappropriation, and who are at it, I would not like to destroy them. Because, we need a strong church organization, which is performing its role as, it should. Also, leave politicking to the experts.
Creating a nucleus of Pakistani Christians business and professional will be an achievement. A useful exchange of information and what not. Then when the time comes, they should be there to back up your plans.
Christianity and World.
Of course getting the current writers to continue writing is important. Quite rightly it is a good thing to do. However, Christianity is more than a message of personal salvation. It deals with a community, the world and all that is therein. It seeks to bring about the kingdom of God on earth. This will happen through convinced Christians who diligently seek to apply Christianity to the world situation, but starting with Pakistan. Our influence has been compared to leaven or salt. It is slow but sure. Certain things done in a hurry prove counterproductive. In many case evolution and not revolution is the answer. We are like the sewer who went out to sow.
I will be demonstrating it through my writings in due course.
Filling in details is avoided, but should you have any query, please don't hesitate to let me have it. I will try to answer it.
Pakistan Decentralization Support Programme. By David E Bhatti
Over the past few weeks a lot has been said in Pakistani papers about Decentralization Support Programme(DSP). An important aspect of this programme means that he central government wants to devolve many of the powers of the district regime on the tehsil, though the latter will receive directives from the centre on how to run its affairs. This will be made possible through the installation of the countrywide electronic system that will link governments at various levels with the central government. As a result, the central government would be able to directly communicate with any administration unit within its organization down the lowest level, namely the tehsil, and vice versa. Such programme as this does not come cheap. Pakistan has been given a cheap loan by Asian Development Bank (ADB) to cover its cost.
The main reasons for his monumental project are:
1: The old system of government was not thought right for the modern times.
2: This will allow the central government to monitor its grants to various administration units. This is part of accountability.
3: It aims to satisfy the monitoring requirements of various donor agencies. The latter are expected to increase their facilities when they become convinced that their funds would be properly accounted for.
4: It is said to be the aim of the government to make available to the common man any information in the public domain. So presumably, it would just easy for a remotely situated villager as for a civil servant in Islamabad to bring this information up on their respective computer screens. This is the transparency aspect coming into its own.
I remember the time when the Inland Revenue introduced first phase of electronic tax work in the UK. Many of us did not know whether we were coming or going. After about six years or so of working with it, I dare say not many would want to return to the old system. So many things can be done with it.
The above move will create new demands, and many businessmen with imagination are perhaps already prepared to supply the same.