‘Invalid IBAN number’: Govt gives incorrect number for dam fund

  • ‘Dam’ that’s embarrassing

In a technical slip up, the IBAN number given in advertisements for the PM-CJP fund for the Diamer and Bhasha dams is incorrect, making it impossible for overseas Pakistanis to transfer funds to the account.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had on Friday addressed the nation, asking them and overseas Pakistanis, in particular, to send money to the dam fund for the building of dams. However, the IBAN number that was flashed for reference after the PM’s speech was missing one digit.

The number given after the PM’s speech was ‘PK06SBP0035932999990014,’ a 23-digit code — one short of the 24 digits that IBAN numbers are supposed to have. This had apparently caused serious confusion among overseas Pakistanis wanting to contribute to the dam fund, with many complaining about it on social media.

The gaffe seems to be a simple clerical error at first glance, with a single ‘p’ having been missed from the IBAN number given on screen. The IBAN number given on the Supreme Court’s website is the full 24-digit ‘PK06SBPP0035932999990014.’

However, the issue goes deeper, with an IBAN validation check proving that the IBAN number given on the Supreme Court’s website is also invalid.

“There is no such problem as far as I am aware and we have been receiving donations without any issue since the fund was initiated,” said Abid Qamar, the spokesperson of the State Bank of Pakistan.

“I don’t know what people are saying on social media, but we have not received any complaints on our official helpline or via email that there is any problem in the IBAN number or that there is any difficulty in transferring funds.”

“If there is an issue then people should contact us through the proper channel rather than confusing everyone by posting such things on social media,” he went on to add.

It is also worth mentioning that a number of people are having a tough time giving donations locally as well, with banking apps and ATM machines not giving users the option to transfer money to an account in the SBP.

The State Bank not being a traditional bank with private accounts, it is still not clear exactly how the fund is going about collecting the money, as all federal government banking is conducted through the National Bank of Pakistan.

However, attempts to address donations to the National Bank in this vein have also resulted in an error. The inaccessibility of the State Bank has thus made the process all the more confusing.

Officials from local private banks also had no answers when attempts to transfer money to the Dams fund through both ATM machines and the State Bank’s website failed.

“Again, we have not recorded any complaints to this regard,” said Abid Qamar.

“The option to donate is open through ATM, cheque, cash deposits, bank transfers and even banking apps,” he ended.


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