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      May 21, 2013


Discrimination with North

Aga Khan Rural Support Program had started working in northern areas in early eighties, on the basis of bad experiences with cooperative societies/anjumans in past the people of north were not ready to support AKRSP for formation tanzeem and collecting savings. They were assured by the higher management of AKRSP and other organizations working under the supervision of Aga Khan that no such incidence will be happened with them now.
People started supporting AKRSP after this assurance. Two main component of AKRSP for future were committed, one was establishment of enterprise company and another was the formation of development bank. The company will provide technical support and training and bank will provide finance for establishing enterprises and employment creation.

After 20 years hard struggle, First Micro Finance Bank was established, the people of the area were very happy that they have been able to form a bank with continuous struggles, but enterprise company is not yet established. After passage of 10 years of establishment of the bank the people are now hopeless because they have not been able to draw the fruitful results from this bank. There are many reasons of this hopelessness, the first reason is that no proper representation has been given to the people of North in senior management level and board of director to convey the message of people of north about their needs. Such people who have never visited north are sitting in board as directors, they are clueless about the need of north and its hard geographical location. How the people of north can expect a positive response from them about the need of north. During the last 10 years no single member of broad of director and president has visited north to meet people. The credit of successful program goes to the staff of AKRSP but no single and experienced staff has been hired from AKRSP by the bank, who shall guide the management and board about the objective of establishment of this bank. The bank is going in loss for the last ten years and total loss has crossed 50 cror, the main deposit is collected from north and used in down country. Although this deposit should be used in north for income generation but it is distributed in Punjab and Sindh.

There shall be representation in board from all districts of north (Skardu, Ghizer, Chitral and Gilgit). In the absence of appointed of board of director the deposit of north is at risk. Interest rate of the bank was 10 percent at the time of Establishment in 2002 now interest is charged more than 40 percent and more than 90 percent loans are below 30000 that is not sufficient to meet the need of the people.

In the best interest of north, it is requested to the President of Aga Khan Council that the message shall be communicated to H.H. Aga Khan and board that:

1. That interest rate on loans shall be minimized to 12 percent as charged by commercial banks,
2. Three representative for board shall be appointed from north one each from Chitral, Gilgit and Baltistan
3. For safety purpose the deposit collected in north shall be used in north ,
4. The board members and president shall visit north on quarterly basis and meet the people to know their needs.

With Regards
Shamsheer Khan


mail @ chitraltimes@gmail.com

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