Pasban Democratic Party Critiques Government’s Loan Practices, Calls for Banking Reform

Karachi, The Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) has voiced strong opposition against the provincial governments’ reliance on private bank loans for wheat procurement, stressing that such practices squander public funds and enrich banks at the expense of the people. In a statement, PDP Chairman Altaf Shakoor criticized the banking sector for operating at the detriment of consumers and the government, likening the situation to historical exploitation by colonial powers.

According to Pasban Democratic Party, Shakoor highlighted the annual expenditure of billions of rupees paid by provincial governments to private banks as interest on loans. He argued that this money could be better used for the welfare of the poor if the government utilized its own resources for essential purchases like wheat. The statement called for an urgent overhaul of the banking sector to prevent private banks from acting as modern-day East India companies, exploiting consumers and the government through high-interest loans.

Shakoor pointed out the skewed policies of the State Bank of Pakistan, which he believes favor private banks at the expense of the country’s populace. He underscored the necessity of breaking the “deadly debt trap” facing the government and its citizens, criticizing the lack of political advocacy for consumer rights within Pakistan.

The PDP’s statement also referred to a report indicating Pakistan’s banking sector has one of the highest spreads in the world, exacerbated by the central bank’s policy rate reaching an all-time high of 22 percent. This has significantly widened the gap between the interest rates on loans and the returns on deposits, further burdening the economy and its people.

Shakoor’s call to action includes urging central and provincial governments to devise mechanisms to reduce their dependency on bank loans, particularly for operational needs like wheat procurement. He emphasized that saving taxpayer money should be a top priority, advocating for pro-consumer banking reforms to foster a culture of consumer rights protection in Pakistan.

The Pasban Democratic Party’s critique of the banking sector and the government’s financial practices sheds light on the broader economic challenges facing Pakistan, calling for reforms to safeguard the interests of the poor and promote fiscal responsibility.

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