Interview with Mr. Barkatullah Lone – Chairman, GB International Economic Forum
[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]Profile:
Mr. Barkatullah Lone is Chairman of GB International Economic Forum and a renowned young Economist of Pakistan. He was ranked in the top ten Economists of Pakistan in the year 2017. He is a Chartered Accountant from England & Wales, Chartered Management Accountant from UK, Chartered Certified Accountant from UK, Chartered Global Management Accountant from the USA, Gold Medalist Management Accountant, Public Finance Accountant from Pakistan plus he holds master’s degree in Economics and Law from Karachi University. He has been associated with the corporate sector in Finance and Audit profession at various positions (CFO/GM Finance/Chief Internal Auditor) for the last many years. He has rendered his professional Finance/Audit/Accounting services in Pakistan as well as abroad. Simultaneous with his job career, he has been appearing at various Local and International TV channels as Economic & Financial Analyst for the last Eight years.
Association with Organization:
Presently, Barkatullah Lone is associated with a reputed Saudi Conglomerate Group (Arfad Group) in the Eastern Province of KSA as Group Chief Financial Officer. He has joined this company with a vision to professionalize the business functions and to streamline the Processes by embedding the business activities into integrated Information Systems. He has ample experience of converting the traditional owner-based culture into a corporate culture in his ex-companies which he is envisioning to inculcate a corporate culture in the existing company as well. Arfad Group has been one of the best Corporate Groups of Saudi in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility.[/box]
PAKISTAN & GULF ECONOMIST had an exclusive conversation with Mr. Barkatullah Lone about banking sector. The excerpts are as follows:
Roshan Digital Account enables overseas Pakistanis to open an account digitally, i.e., online from anywhere in the world without visiting the bank branch. Account can be opened in PKR or foreign currencies such as US dollar, euro or GBP. This account is used only for sending the foreign remittances. The key benefit of Digital Account is that the expatriate Pakistani can send the remittances to this account without getting approval of the bank or state bank. Majority of overseas Pakistanis have appreciated this initiative of state bank and with the passage of time, many overseas Pakistanis are going for this option for remitting their funds to Pakistan. Digital Account provides access to all traditional account services as well such as bill payments, e-commerce, etc. Major banks such as HBL, Meezan, Al-Falah, Faysal, MCB and UBL provide this facility to overseas Pakistanis.
One of the political narratives of PTI government was to provide home for the homeless for which it started a housing loan scheme by making arrangement with different commercial banks. Government has subsidized the interest rate through commercial banks for this loan. MERA GHAR loan scheme has the below features:
- The applicant does not already own any house
- All men/women holding CNIC can apply for this loan facility
- Housing Units/apartments of up to 125 square yards (5 Marla) with maximum covered area of up to 850 square feet: PKR 3.5 Million
- Financing tenor is 5 to 20 years
- Applicant age need to be in the range of 25 to 55 years
- There is no pre-settlement of loan charges
- One individual can have subsidized house loan facility under this scheme only once
- Purchase of complete residential property (apartment/flat/house)
- Construction on owned plot
Internet banking is a delivery of services through the use of computers and mobile sources. In other words, it is delivery of information through the use of different platform which includes the use of phone and internet. In broader terms, it involves the use of different facilities in terms of access to accounts online, transfer of funds by using web sources and buying different products (financial) and services online. Internet banking obviously not only save time but also it reduces queue (waiting lines) in front of banks. Through electronic banking, the customers enjoy numerous advantages. It makes it possible to do transactions online for customers from exotic places. Free checking accounts, online deposits, new products introduction, debit and credit card facilities, are all included in internet banking/ electronic banking services. Internet banking is also similar important for banking industry because they can interact with different customers, introduce new products and technology, a source of information dissemination among customers irrespective of geographical restrictions. E-banking landscape in Pakistan has benefited the customers as under:
- The electronic banking provides services 24/7
- No need of standing in long queues.
- Easy access for customers.
- Electronic banking is time saving service.
- Money can be easily got by ATMs.
- Enhanced and rapid access to information.
- All the services are available at bank’s website.
- Consumer can take his/her history about funds management.
In this globalization world, e-banking is an important aspect of development for banking sector. Banking sector can make its customer loyal by solving these issue and challenges, and provide more ease to its customer. The banks should more keenly consider customers’ demand and preferences for the successful feedback from public.
Auto financing is an area in which a great car deal can suddenly turn sour. Many car buyers spend an enormous amount of time and effort getting a dealer to agree to a low purchase price and a decent trade-in value, and then they throw all that hard work away by failing to be nearly as diligent in obtaining their car loan. Their lack of preparation on the equation’s financing side means they potentially throw away hundreds, or even thousands. Auto loans by banks have seen extreme ups and downs. During Pervez Musharraf era, it had been in peak in the history of Pakistan but auto financing during the last few years has been quite down due to the worst economic situation of Pakistan. Auto Financing by banks increase when the masses have excess money to spend on buying cars but the bleak situation of Pakistan economy at the moment doesn’t allow buyer to go for this option. If we see the regulations relating to Car Loans in Pakistan, the Central bank has revised prudential regulations for consumer financing through a circular. The primary aim of the change in regulations is to dampen demand growth in the economy and reduce import bill of the country in a bid to lend support to the balance of payments. This revision is not applicable to the locally manufactured cars having engine capacity of less than 1,000cc as the government wants to protect consumers of the lower and middle-income categories and promote the use of clean energy. According to the prudential regulations, the maximum loan tenure has been reduced from seven years to five years while the minimum down payment for vehicle financing has been raised from 15% to 30%. Due to the stiff regulations, the number of cars sold in the country fell 11% month-on-month to 18,714 units by the end of year 2021.
Personal loans can be used for a variety of expenses, including weddings, vacations, home repairs and even as a way to cover emergency costs. There’s a lot to learn about personal loans, but one draw is that they can sometimes be a more affordable alternative to credit cards since they typically carry a lower interest rate (though, the rate you receive will depend on how healthy your credit score is). There are a few different ways you can go about applying for a personal loan from a lender. You can go through a peer-to-peer lending site, take a look at some smaller financial in when searching for a personal loan, it can be helpful to compare several different offers to find the best interest rate and payment terms for your needs. With this comparison tool, you’ll just need to answer a handful of questions in order for even financial to determine the top offers for you. The service is free, secure and does not affect your credit score.