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Commercial banks seen as major threat to development

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Islamabad: National Traders Alliance (NTA) on Saturday said commercial banks have become a major threat to the development of the country. They are not serving masses but themselves.
Regulators and bureaucracy have been looking after the interests of banks for their personal gains leaving masses high and dry, said Malik Sohail Hussain, VP NTA, President Traders Welfare Association (TWA), Blue Area and former SVP, ICCI.

Successive finance ministers – from Sartaj Aziz to Shaukat Aziz– inflicted losses upon other sectors to promote banking, he said adding that they should be hold accountable. He said this while presiding over a meeting of traders.

Policy to ignore economists and appoint bankers with connections in World Bank and IMF has transformed Pakistan into a heaven for banks who are doubling and tripling their profits every year on the cost of poor depositors,

At the occasion Chairman TWA Malik Saghir, Chairman Banking Committee NTA Shahid Alam, Syed Amin Pirzada, Haji Naeem, Asghar Jahangir, Yusaf Rajput, Ch. Wasim, Raja Hassan Akhtar and others said that foreign bankers have put the country on path of consumerism that resulted in losses to the tune of billions of dollars to economy.

The flawed policies contributed to the widespread poverty, crimes and social unrest. They said:

“Attractive slogans as free market economy, deregulation, privitization and incentives to local and foreign investors etc were used to plunder resources of Pakistan and deprive masses of their lifetime savings,”

Appointment of accountants on important assignments also proved a disaster as they initiated useless schemes debilitating the exchequer. The same ‘wizards’ were instrumental in confiscation of dollar accounts shattering confidence which is yet to be restored.

“Now government is hitting saving schemes to promote banks which amounts to strangulating pensioners who have worked hard all their life,” said Malik Sohail.

The aim of west-inspired bankers is to multiply profits, get incredible perks and privileges and congratulate themselves in papers with no reference to depositors who help banks multiply profits year-on-year. Presently former bankers are running finance ministry and central bank. But the former seems to be a bit different. However, loose control of institutions including SECP, CCP etc is helping banks ensure ruthless profits.

Questions are being raised about hijacking of national saving schemes. Top bankers are against Islamic banking, micro finance, SMEs, savings and other positive trends in society. “President of a provincial bank was shown the door for resisting Islamic banking but resistance to it still prevails,” said Mr. Alam. Will it will need Taliban or Sofi Muhammad to safeguard the interests of masses, he asked.-SANA

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