Pakistan is one of the first few countries that have adopted the SDG 2030 Agenda through a unanimous resolution in parliament, said State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir.
Unveiling a report titled “SDGs and Sustainability Report – Pakistan Banking Sector Perspective” in Dubai, the governor reaffirmed the commitment of the government and the State Bank to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
He added that Pakistan’s devotion could be gauged from the initiatives introduced to achieve the goals and efforts made to ensure sustainability.
He elaborated that the seven pillars of the Vision 2025, announced by the government of Pakistan, were fully aligned with the SDGs and provided a comprehensive long-term strategy for achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development.
Baqir highlighted that in pursuit of the SDGs some of the key initiatives recently undertaken by the State Bank included Banking on Equality policy to address the gender gap in financial inclusion.
Moreover, he talked about the flagship Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar (MPMG) scheme aimed at provision of financing for low-cost and affordable housing, which was non-existent prior to 2021.
He emphasised that the MPMG initiative had helped provide shelter to the underprivileged segment while stimulating the economy.
Applications with a cumulative demand for Rs357 billion have so far been received under the scheme and out of that, Rs157 billion has been approved with the disbursement standing at Rs56 billion.
The governor specifically mentioned the SBP’s innovative renewable energy financing facility, which encouraged banks to enhance their green financing portfolio and reduce carbon footprint.
Baqir lauded the efforts made by the local banks to meet the SDGs.
“The boards and management of banks should explicitly convey their commitment and support for the implementation of SDGs to their teams and other stakeholders,” he said.
“Banks should develop implementation plans with the identification of timelines and responsibilities to achieve the SDGs in line with the capacity building programmes.”
Baqir emphasised the need for institutionalising and deepening reforms to advance the efforts for meeting the SDGs to make the planet a better place to live in for the generations to come.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2022.