ISLAMABAD: Shafqat Sultana President, First Women Bank Limited (FWBL), on Wednesday said that the institution will continue to strive for economic empowerment of women by employing all available resources to enhance their capacity. Shafqat Sultana said this while speaking to women entrepreneurs after signing a MOU with Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI).
FWBL has initiated many training courses for entrepreneurial capacity-building and skill development so that women are mainstreamed in all economic sectors and become a visible and productive part of the economy, she said.
She said that we have long been working with IWCCI but now we have formally become partners. We will impart training to women in banking, accounts, products, import and export and other commercial activities with a renewed vigour, she said.
President of the Bank said that we want partnership with all the Women Chambers, rural support programmes and educational institutions providing education to women so that they can be streamlined as a business force.
Shafqat Sultana informed that they have advanced loans amounting 22 billion rupees to 6 lakh women and trained same amount of women in businesses.
She added that ratio of returning loans to the Bank currently stand at 98 per cent which has not only astonished many but also encouraged us.
We have 38 branches and four booths; we have planned 10 more branched in the current fiscal including one in Gilgit Baltistan while number of branches will be boosted to 100 in few years, Sultana said.
At the occasion, Samina Fazil, President, IWCCI lauded the initiative saying that FWBL is the only bank which is also involved in effective social activities.
She said that we have jointly accepted the challenge to improve the life of women through economic empowerment and no stone will be left unturned for this.
Samina demanded of the government to reduce mark up for women seeking loans, relax procedure of guarantees for loans and provide additional incentives so that 52 per cent of the population can play more active role in development of country.
She said that number of women employees in technical and professional vocations particularly in the banking sector and other sectors should be increased.
SMEDA, TDAP, WSCs, IBP and other departments should create a resource network for development of women as their under-representation and unbalanced participation is a major problem, demanded Samina.
She said that enhancing the ability of girl children should not be ignored as it is imperative for the cause of national development.