MoU signing ceremony between four banks and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs
Prime Minister Imran Khan witnessed the MoU signing ceremony between four banks and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs. Under the MoU, four banks would provide easy loans to the fishermen to enable them to purchase the latest equipment like boats, onshore freezers, and others for value addition in their business besides achieving self-dependence. Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, SAPM Usman Dar, and senior management of four banks attended the event. The representatives of the National Bank of Pakistan, Bank of Punjab, Bank Al Falah and Habib Bank, and the maritime affairs ministry signed the documents to provide loans to fishermen under Kamyab Jawan Program. The Prime Minister appreciated the initiative aimed at uplifting the fishermen who, he said, said usually lived a hard life. He said the MoU was in light of the PTI’s struggle as corruption was another reason behind the sufferings of the fishermen and thanked the banks who had come up to support the sector. Calling them the engine of growth, the prime minister said the banks extending the loan to the poor fishermen were in fact contributing to the national development. He said the loans under Kamyab Jawan Program would help upgrade the business of the fishermen by enabling them to purchase and utilizing modern equipment. In wake of the complaints, the Prime Minister again emphasized the banks’ management to train their staffers to facilitate and expedite the process of housing or business loans under government’s schemes as they were not in habit of dealing with such process. Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Haider Zaidi said the exports of the country’s fisheries industry stood at around $450 million contrary to Vietnam earning around $8.5 billion from seafood export. However, consequent to the ongoing initiative by the government, the seafood exports would touch $2.5 billion mark within one and half years, he hoped. The minister said the Kamyab Jawan Program loans would enable the fishermen to purchase their own vessels and become an entrepreneur. Moreover, they would also be able to install freezers at their vessel to preserve the fish which otherwise used to rot before reaching the market. SAPM Usman Dar said the four of 21 partner banks of Kamyab Jawan Program had come up to support the fishery sector which was rich with immense potential. He said the fishermen were never given access to finance by the previous government but this MoU would help end their deprivation. He said with the help of the Kamyab Jawan loan, around 10,000 youths had started their small or medium scale businesses providing direct employment to around 70,000 people and indirectly to 250,000. However, he hoped that the project would help provide business loans to 100,000 youths to enable them to run their own business and act like entrepreneurs. Dar said through this program, the government would also uplift the SMEs sector which had in the past been deprived of access to finance.