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State Bank of Pakistan approves interest-free loans for postgraduates
More than 1,400 students pursuing graduate degrees and doctoral studies this year will receive US$2.4 million in interest-free loans from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Shahnaz Javed Mahmood
KARACHI — More than 1,400 students pursuing graduate degrees and doctoral studies this year will receive US$2.4 million in interest-free loans from the State Bank of Pakistan, an official of the SBP announced on Sept. 21.
“The Committee for Student Loan Schemes (SLS), headed by SBP Deputy Chief Muhammad Kamran Shehzad, approved the loans before the start of Eid holidays,” said SBP’s External Affairs manager Imran Maqbool. He said the loans will be given to students through the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), MCB Bank, Habib Bank Ltd., United Bank Ltd. and Allied Bank Ltd.
“The SBP is financing interest-free loans to support students with limited financial means who want to obtain a higher education,” said NBP Vice President Shamim Iqbal. The needy students are eligible for loans ranging between $1500 and $4000.
To ensure transparency, the SLS is being managed by a committee comprised of the deputy governor of the SBP, presidents of the commercial banks and representatives of the Ministry of Finance, she said. The loans will be available only to students already accepted at approved universities and colleges in Pakistan, who have received scores of no less than 70 percent in previous examinations.
The maximum period of repayment of the loan is ten years from the date of disbursement of the first installment, Iqbal said, adding that the borrowers can repay the loan in installments, beginning six months after the completion of their studies or finding employment.
“The loans are available for study in engineering, electronics, agriculture, medicine, physics, social and computer sciences and other disciplines,” said Syed Qasim Pirzada, vice-chancellor of Karachi University.
Students who want to apply for loans for the 2010 academic year can obtain them from the branches of the above-mentioned banks, or download them from their websites.