ISLAMABAD – Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd (ZTBL) while terming the recently passed legislation as farmers-friendly has said the e-passbook is a document has got legal protection and now they can avail loans on subsidised mark-up.
“We are glad that the political leadership realised the importance of the bill. The farmers and ZTBL had been waiting for years for the passage of the bill. Finally, it sailed through National Assembly. This legislation is destined to herald a green revolution,” President ZTBL said here.
Tens of thousands of small farmers/borrowers will benefit from the legislative amendments passed by National Assembly regarding provision of legal protection to e-passbook. Early this month on June 7, the National Assembly passed, “The Loans for Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Purposes (LACIP) (Amendment) Bill 2019”.
Since 2017, the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd (ZTBL), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP and Ministry of Finance had been briefing the lawmakers about the importance of the bill and its impacts on agriculture sector in the country.
Recent legislation has put an end to the exploitation of small farmers by various quarters
President ZTBL said Pakistan being an agriculture country needed farmers’ friendly legislation adding majority of farmers had small landholdings.“This kind of legislation gives ownership to small farmers. We are glad that political leadership has started focusing on legislation meant for small farmers,” the President added.
The e-passbook is a document though which small farmers can get loans for agriculture purposes; however, there was no legal coverage of the e-passbook.
After the passage of the bill, e-passbook has got legal protection and now farmers can avail agriculture loans on subsidised mark-up. Hasan Raza, Head Legal Affairs Division ZTBL said that the passage of the bill is landmark legislation for farmers and agriculture sector. Now, the e-passbook has a legal protection.
“Credit must go to the government for passing the legislation in the greater interest of borrowers and lending financial institutions, he maintained.
“After the computerisation of land record, land owners can now easily get their e-passbooks unlike the past when the farmers would run from pillar-to-post for getting the manual passbooks,” Qadeer Javed, Head Credit Policy ZTBL said.
He said that before the passage of the bill, the farmers would get their passbooks after paying frequent visits to patwaris, girdawar and tehsildars but now the e-passbooks can be obtained on a single click after digitisation of land record.
The legislation has put an end to the exploitation of small farmers by various quarters. Earlier, farmers had to wait for months to get the manual passbooks and would pay bribe to land authorities.
“In a country like ours, we have to facilitate farmers first. The procedure of getting manual passbook was very lengthy and hectic for small farmers and it would take months. Now, the e-passbook can be obtained on a single click. This is no doubt, a great relief for farmers,” Muhammad Jan Kakar, Advisor to President ZTBL said.
Presently, 99 per cent ZTBL loans are provided on agriculture passbook system which is prepared by revenue authorities in accordance with LACIP Act.