Written-off loans

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According to press reports the State Bank of Pakistan has prayed to the Supreme Court to constitute a commission headed by Justice (r) Saleem Akhtar, comprising of ex-DG State Bank Rashid A Chugtai and Chartered Accountant Yousaf Adil, to examine different aspects of cases of loans that were granted for political reasons and then written-off by banks since 1997, a total of more than Rs 100 million in about 1300 cases.

The commission will also identify the legal difficulties faced by the banks to recover the loan amounts from borrows. The commission will submit its interim report within 180 days and its final report within 360 days of its first convening at the Supreme Court. The commission will also request Supreme Court to remove all latches, impediments and legal objections the banks are facing in recovering the loans.

The commissions and committees in Pakistan are formed to cover up the misdeeds and delay the matter. It is a known fact that loans were given to landlords, industrialist, businessmen and politicians with the banks senior officers connivance. They also financially benefited from them.

The question is how many loans were given to ordinary people and were written-off? The Supreme Court should not accept the proposal of forming a commission, rather it should order that all borrows must return the loans within 30 days, otherwise their assets will be confiscated. I am sure with this judgment the country will come out from the present economic crises, and the government will be able to reduce its budget deficit.

S T HUSSAIN

Lahore