CHITRAL: President Chitral Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Sartaj Ahmad Khan had a meeting with the president and CEO of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Arif Usmani at the NBP head office in Karachi on Dec 27.
Mr. Shoukat Khattak, EVP and Group Head of Services Quality Group, was also present. Mr. Sartaj Ahmad Khan presented detailed proposals to the president of NBP regarding the key challenges pertaining to better performance and quality customer service delivery by NBP branches in Chitral.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Khan said the NBP main branch in Chitral had been operating since 1964 as as the chest branch of the State Bank of Pakistan.
He pointed towards issues and concerns the main branch is facing since the dismantling of the main branch building in 2012. The main building of NBP was dismantled owing to the construction of a bypass road. Since then, the main branch of NBP Chitral has been operating in a rented premise unsuitable for quality services and customer care.
According to Mr. Khan, NBP main branch has been continuously facing criticism from the customers, local mainstream media for not being able to provide a quality services. Having this situation in the backdrop, Mr. Khan presented a proposal to purchase a property suitable to build a spacious and well-equipped branch in Chitral town.
He also pointed towards the fact that the outlook of the existing branches in Chitral is very shabby and undesirable compared to branches of other banks. Giving the high stake margin of NBP in Chitral, there is a need to conduct a survey of all branches and upgrade the equipment and furniture for effective services and customer care.
Upgrading the existing branch of NBP Booni Lasht Upper Chitral to chest branch/main branch was also proposed for smooth working in the newly-established district.
Currently, 15 branches of banks, including microfinance, are operating in Booni, upgrading the existing branch to chest branch will not only cater to the needs of these banks but will also be able to address the government institutions, treasury department, allied departments, organizations for settlement of required services.
Additionally, it was proposed to establish four branches of NBP in the un-banked areas of Laspur valley of Mastuj TMA, Kosht valley of Mulkhow TMA, Shagram valley of Torkhow TMA and Brep town of Mastuj.
Mr. Khan stressed on a very important matter of the absence of NBP ATMs in entire Chitral, he highly recommended an immediate order for installation of ATMs in the existing branches of NBP in Upper Chitral. Acute shortage of human resource in the NBP branches is another pressing matter Mr. Khan drew attention towards.
He requested the president to recruit well-qualified local human resource to run the branches of NBP on a sustainable basis. As the non-local staff face issues of adjustment to the environment and tend to push for their transfers to their local stations thus leaving the branches in Chitral understaffed and quality of customer service suffered.
The proposal was concluded on a very important request for establishing two bank booths of NBP at Arandu and Shah Saleem crossing points with Afghanistan to address the immediate need for increasing business across the borders in the long run and to open a new branch in Ayun.
The proposal to open a separate management unit (zonal or regional office) of NBP in Chitral was also presented to the president in order to properly manage, facilitate and coordination with stakeholders.
At the end of the meeting Mr. Khan extended an invitation to the president NBP on behalf of the chamber of commerce to visit Chitral next year to inaugurate some of the projects discussed in the meeting.
The president of NBP appreciated the proposals and promised to initiate approval for all the issues phase-wise with a follow-up meeting with top management executives of NBP soon in Islamabad.–Farkhanda Ahmad