To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2008, Official Report, column 1041W, on Pakistan: overseas aid, to what extent his Department may determine the ways in which the State Bank allocates the £50 million provided for Pakistan's Financial Inclusion Programme; what the primary aims of the programme are; and what outcomes from the programme his Department expects.
The Pakistan Financial Inclusion Programme (FIP), designed by the State Bank of Pakistan and the Department for International Development (DFID), has a joint Steering Committee which makes all key strategic decisions.
The purpose of the FIP is to ensure that more poor people benefit from the provision of financial services in Pakistan. It aims to increase the number of microfinance users from 1.4 million to 3.0 million by 2010 and to 5.0 million by 2012. It will improve the regulatory framework for private financial service provision, strengthen public private partnerships, and ensure the effective use of technology in ways that will help benefit excluded groups. It will also help mobilise up to £50 million from the private financial sector to help improve access to finance, including in rural areas.