Staff ReporterSunday, October 02, 2011 - Karachi—Sindh Bank will offer interest free loans of up to Rs 500,000/- to the students who will seek financing for higher education. “The loans will be recovered once they have completed their studies. Graduating students will also be offered jobs in the bank,” said President of Sindh Bank Bilal Shaikh while talking to reporters. However, he clarified that the amount would not be directly given to the applicant students rather it would be directly paid the respective institutions where the students wanted to study.
He said following the instructions of President Asif Ali Zardari, Sindh Bank was offering soft loans of Rs 100,000 through “Benazir Agricultural Cards” to the flood affected growers.
Shaikh said that 20 percent amount from the loan would be paid in cash while the 80 percent would be given in kind in the form of agricultural inputs through dealers of seeds, fertiliser, etc. “We will charge only 13 percent annual mark up on these loans whose recovery will start a year after their issuance,” he added.
The loans, which will be offered without any condition through pass books, will only be given to growers owning up to 25 acres or less cultivable land. “So far Rs 50 million have been distributed among 500 small growers while by the end of December we aim to reach 5,000 farmers,” he said.
The bank, Shaikh said, was also offering loans for purchase of tractors under which 25 percent amount would be paid by the Bank. He said that the bank would spend Rs 65 million on the relief of flood affected people and President Asif Ali Zardari would make an announcement in that regard soon.
To a question he said unlike Bank of Punjab, which suffered losses for sanctioning heavy loans, the Sindh Bank had adopted the policy of granting small loans. “We have earned Rs 1 billion profit in just nine months,” he said. Referring to the network of branches of the Bank, he said State Bank has issued 50 licences for opening of the branches of Sindh Bank. “Of these, 30 have been opened with creation of some 400 jobs while 20 will start by October 30,” he added.