KARACHI (News Desk): Bank Alfalah received the Best Bank Award for 2019 at the 4th Pakistan Banking Awards ceremony held here on Friday. Six awards were given to other banks for their best performance in different categories. Bank Alfalah also won the Best Consumer Franchise Award for 2019. The bank had won the Best Bank Award in 2018 for Small and Medium Business. Habib Bank Limited succeeded in winning two awards for the year 2019. Juries of Pakistan Banking Award chose the HBL for the Best Investment Banking Award for 2019. The HBL had received the same award in 2018, reflecting its outstanding performance in the investment category. The HBL won the other award in the category for Small and Medium Banking for its good performance in 2019. The National Bank of Pakistan, which could not get any award in 2018, succeeded in winning the Best Bank for Agriculture Award 2019. The microfinance banking category was the most important one as two speakers at the ceremony incumbent State Bank Governor Reza Baqir and former governor Salim Raza kept their focus on this sector which, according them, could play a vital role in the country’s economic growth. Khushhali Micro Finance Bank received the Best Micro Finance Bank Award for 2019. The bank won the same award in 2018. Mobilink Micro Finance Bank won the Best Bank for Unbanked Award 2019 for its best performance in this area. The bank was given the same award in 2018. Prior to the award-presentation session, the Dawn CEO highlighted the need for the awards and their impact on the country’s banking, finance and economy. Dr Baqir, who was the chief guest at the ceremony, urged banks to enhance their role in the growth of the country’s economy. He said the government had succeeded in reducing the current account deficit and stabilising the exchange rate, adding that these two successes had a positive impact on the country’s economy. The SBP governor said the government’s economic policies were addressing the previously accumulated imbalances. He said it was not easy to control the monthly current account deficit of $2 billion which eroded the foreign exchange reserves of the country. He said the single biggest issue for any central bank was to take care of its reserves and this was the reason for approaching the International Monetary Fund for financial assistance. Since the beginning of the new fiscal, the foreign exchange reserves of the State Bank and the country had started going up while the current account deficit was reducing. Dr Baqir said the market-based exchange rate brought about stability in the economy, adding that now no one was asking for dollar rates on a daily basis.