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President calls for financial inclusion of weaker segments of society through digital transformation

ISLAMABAD, Feb 19 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday called for enhancing the inclusion of deprived sections of society, especially women and persons with disabilities, in the mainstream of the economy through the digital transformation of the financial sector for socio-economic development.

The president gave these remarks while addressing the third edition of Hosting Business Net 2024, a platform to promote financial inclusion and digital transformation and recognize the contributions of companies working in this sector.

President calls for financial inclusion of weaker segments of society through digital transformation

The ceremony was attended by members of the business and diplomatic community.

The president said that Pakistani people were a vibrant nation that had been blessed with abundant natural resources, adding that Pakistan needed to invest in their intellectual development and capacity building.

He also highlighted that Pakistan could not progress without the inclusion of 26.2 million out-of-school children in the education system.

President calls for financial inclusion of weaker segments of society through digital transformation

Educating such a large portion of the population would require thousands of new schools and additional resources, he observed, adding “If left unaddressed, Pakistan would export raw labour without any value-addition.”

The president cited the example of China which had lifted millions of its people out of poverty by investing in their education and health.

He said that financial inclusion was not possible without political inclusion of the people.

He opined that technology should be utilized for internet voting (i-voting) and Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

The president also hailed millions of young voters who had expressed their confidence in the democratic system.

The president highlighted the need for setting priorities for the country, making good decisions and efficiently utilizing its human resources for progress of the country.

He said that the low tax-to-GDP ratio was a perennial problem in Pakistan, adding that overcoming this issue would help reduce Pakistan’s reliance on foreign loans.

The president said that banks were offering business loans for women on easy terms and conditions, however, there was a lack of awareness about micro-credit facilities for women.

He urged the banks to enhance their outreach by introducing cashless banking in far-flung areas through customized products and services.

CEO of Transforming Hub Iftikhar Hussain highlighted that BizNet was an ecosystem that had brought together the best minds by promoting increased collaboration, commitment and innovation.

He underlined the pivotal role played by the banking sector in adopting the latest financial solutions paving the way for user-friendly banking transactions.

Speaking on the occasion, CEO of Airlinks Communication Muzaffar Piracha apprised the audience that digitization of the economy was the first step towards financial inclusion which was not possible without advancements in the mobile industry.

Chief Digital Officer of Jazz Aamer Ejaz said that Pakistan had a large undocumented economy that was undermining the whole financial system as businesses/transactions were not registered.

Financial inclusion through services like JazzCash was effectively addressing such issues and empowering people particularly women at the grassroots level, he added.

Earlier, the president also gave away shields to companies in recognition of their services for enhancing financial inclusion through technological and digital transformation.

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