H. E. Sheikh Hasina, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, inaugurated PKSF’s Development Fair 2013, held in the Grand Ball Room, Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka on 13 February 2013 at 10:30 am. She declared it open on the occasion of 23rd anniversary of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina graced the inaugural ceremony as the Chief Guest. Air Vice Marshal (Rtd.) A K Khandker, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Planning and Dr. Hasan Mahmud, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests attended the occasion as Special Guests. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chaiman, PKSF presided over the function.
The Prime Minister said, “Our aim is to eradicate poverty and not to nurture it. We do not want people to lead a disastrous life due to the cumulative burden of loan”. She mentioned that microfinance transactionshave increased by 70 percent in the last four years. The total outstanding microcredit stood at Tk 18,000 crore when her government took office in 2009, and now, the figure is Tk 30,000 crore. PKSF has disbursed $2.08 billion ($14366.69 crore taka) to partner organizations, since its inception in 1990. Sheikh Hasina noted that some 90 lakh families directly receive PKSF’s services through some 6,000 branches of its associate organizations across the country. She also pointed out that the microcredit system originated from the traditional banks’ reluctance to lend to the poor. However, now these banks feel initiated and the expansion of these banks’ financing for the small borrowers is quite visible in her Government’s period. And microloans by banks rose by an astonishing 117 percent to Tk 3,200 crore, compared to the state in 2008, she added. Microfinace has made a strong headway under the present government. Initiatives have been taken to further strengthen the PKSF as it has consistently been playing a special role in alleviating poverty and empowering people, Sheikh Hasina said.
The Prime Minister handed over scholarships to 3 (three) meritorious students of Ultra Poor PKSF beneficiaries—Mr. Liton Hossain (Savar, Dhaka), Mst. Shamima Akter Shimu (Mithapukur, Rangpur) and Mst. Aklima Khatun (Kaliganj, Shatkhira) from three categories of SSC, HSC and Post Graduate/ Graduate levels respectively. She also offered the recognition of merit to Srimati Dinobala (ESDO: Best creative entrepreneur), Lalmonirhaat; Ms. Shefali Begum (SDS: Best Farmer), Shariatpur and Ms. Zinat Sultana Smrity (JCF: Best small entrepreneur), Kushtia.
PKSF’s Managing Director Dr. Quazi Mesbahuddin Ahmed narrated PKSF’s journey since 1990 and it’s horizontal and vertical coverage across the country. Air Vice Marshal (Rtd.) A K Khandker, Minister, Ministry of Planning and Dr. Hasan Mahmud, Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests applauded PKSF’s different initiatives and achievements. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF elaborated on the Foundation’s pro-active role in combating poverty, income erosion of the poor as well as contributing to the factors that offer them human dignity.