The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would continue providing its full regulatory support to increase financial inclusion of persons with disabilities, affirmed SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir.
During an online meeting with President Dr Arif Alvi, Baqir said if society did not provide appropriate support to persons with disabilities, it would lead to their economic disempowerment, depriving them of their independent economic and social lives.
He remarked that people with disabilities could economically support themselves and contribute towards society at large when provided with adequate education, rehabilitation, financial and moral support.
Speaking on the occasion, Alvi said unavailability of concrete information about the number of people with disabilities was a major limitation to designing comprehensive plans to improve their quality of life.
The action items included accessible infrastructure at the entrance of all bank branches and ATM cabins, availability of forms and documents in braille for basic banking services, accessibility audit of bank branches by the SBP and allocation of credit targets for the SBP refinance schemes for SMEs and low-cost housing finance.
He appreciated the central bank’s efforts and performance of banks in improving the accessibility infrastructure at banks for people with disabilities and lauded their efforts for increasing financial inclusion of people with disabilities.
He appreciated the SBP’s specific role in taking a number of measures to cushion the negative economic impact on individuals, businesses and banking institutions.
“The central bank’s successful measures have reduced the negative impact of Covid-19 on economic growth, employment generation and at the same time ensured that the banking and payment systems remain healthy,” he added.