MUZAFFARABAD; Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has sought State Bank of Pakistan’s help for giving the Bank of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (BAJK) the status of a scheduled bank.
AJK President took up the matter with Governor State Bank of Pakistan Mr. Tariq Bajwa who called on him at President House here on Friday. The President informed the Governor State Bank of Pakistan that the Bank of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (BAJK) was established by the AJK Government back in 2005 to play its role in socio-economic development of the state.
Since its inception, the bank has grown both in terms of its footprints in different parts of the State as well as in terms of its growing deposit base, which is evident from the fact that currently, the bank has 68 branches in 10 districts of the State with deposits of around Rs. 9.5 billion, President Masood told the Governor State Bank.
The President said that in the first phase, State Bank should allow BAJK for opening foreign currency accounts to facilitate the families of those settled abroad. He assured that Bank of AJK will remain compliant to all foreign exchange regulations and other instructions issued by the State Bank of Pakistan from time to time.
President Masood Khan further informed that AJK today represents a growing market of customers with an appetite for quality banking services. The area is a potential market for banks ensuring reasonable growth both in terms of deposits and other products such as retail banking, remittance services and technology advance projects.
Governor State Bank Mr. Tariq Bajwa said that SBP is keenly interested in the growing consumer and industrial market of Azad Kashmir. He said that SBP will take all necessary measures to make banking sector in AJK robust. The AJK President also briefed the SBP governor about the positive economic outlook of Azad Kashmir.
He said that recent entries in the development budget and host of initiatives taken in the infrastructure and social development sector provide huge stimulus in the sector. The president suggested that SBP may help provide an enabling environment for the further growth of the banking sector by removing impediments on the way of its rapid progress and growth.