President orders establishment of Saraiki bank

MULTAN,April 15th:"Our Government is taking long-term, mid-term and short term measures to end the energy crisis in the country and results of these measures would emerge by June 30,2012 positively," said President Asif Ali Zardari while talking toa delegation of Multan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI) headed by Mian Anis'A' Sheikh .Upon the demand of reduction in mark-up rate and ratio of spread on bank loans, The president asked the ministry of finance to review this demand .President Zardari today declared that he will advise the government to set up a separate Seraiki Bank and asked businessmen and entrepreneurs from South Punjab to submit a formal proposal for it within a week. During meeting with businessmen of South Punjab in the PM house in Multan today the President said the Seraiki Bank will address the financial issues of South Punjab businessmen.He said that the banks in the past have been manipulated for political ends and the Government aimed at ensuring a banking financial system that could not be manipulated against political opponents.Briefing about the meeting Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that while discussing economy and overall economic situation, the President said that war on terror and natural calamities had adversely impacted our economy. He said that he has been actively pleading with the international community country’s case for having more trade opportunities. The President said that the government was aware that power shortage was among the major issues faced by the business community and industrialists. He said that Government was making all efforts to overcome the power crisis by exploring all possible avenues.The President reiterated his call to the business community to assist the Government in rationalizing and broadening the tax net so as to provide relief to the small businessmen and traders and, simultaneously, to strengthen the economy.The President said that imprudent reversal of the policies initiated by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was a major factor for the present day crisis. The business community not only needs to assist the Government in policy formulation process but should also own the economic policies for ensuring their continuity, he said.He said that South Punjab has a great potential for the export of fruits and the Government was making all efforts to facilitate the growers and exporter of fruits especially of mangoes. He said the Government has also planned to establish Mango Pack House and Cold Storage common facility centres at Multan. The participants apprised the President about various issues faced by the business community and also put forth their suggestions.The delegation comprised on Mian Tanvir'A Sheikh former President of FPCCI,Khawaja Muhammad Jalaluddin Roomi, former Punjab Minister for Industries, Mian Rehman Naseem Chairman of MEPCO board of directors, Fawad 'A Sheikh and Shahid Naseem Khokhar former President of MCCI. Earlier, a delegation of Ulemas & Mashaikhs from South Punjab also called on the President. The President called upon them to work for religious harmony and to assist the Government in weaning the youth away from falling into the trap of militants. He called upon them to highlight the real message of our religion i.e. peace, harmony and tolerance. The President said that limited job opportunities in the area and poverty were the main factors that provided militants and extremists an opportunity to mislead the youth and misuse their talent for their nefarious objectives. He said that in order to honor the aspiration of the people of South Punjab for having their own province, the Prime Minister has been asked to start consultative process with all the political parties for making a separate Seraiki province in South Punjab. The President also urged the ulemas to promote religious harmony and to discourage all notions that divided the population on sectarian or religious basis. We are the followers of the religion which preaches peace and mutual co-existence. In fact our diversity of faith and culture is our real beauty, the President remarked.The Ulemas and Mashikhs thanked the President for visiting Multan and meeting them. They assured their full support to the Government in the war against militants and in efforts to wean the youth away from falling trap into the hands of militants.

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