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ISLAMABAD: Acting Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Dr Murtaza Syed on Thursday apprised the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that Jameel Ahmed will take charge as governor central bank in the next few days.

Noor Alam Khan chaired the meeting of the PAC which examined the Audit Report of the Finance Division for the year 2019-20.

Responding to the appointment of new head of the National Bank of Pakistan, the committee was informed that the new head of the National Bank of Pakistan is yet to be appointed.

The committee members expressed their serious concern over the denial of commercial banks to open accounts for the parliamentarian, policemen, and some other categories. Committee member Syed Mushahid Hussain said he and his family faced problems in opening a bank account.

The chairman committee remarked that this would encourage the informal economy as people would not open the accounts. Unlike Pakistan, he said in foreign countries, opening a bank account in local and foreign currency was not problematic.

Jameel Ahmed appointed governor of SBP

Dr Syed pointed out that the SBP wants more depositors to open bank accounts and it had introduced other facilities such as open digital accounts through mobile phones and computers. Account opening appeared to be a difficult process, he said, because Pakistan had to fulfil certain international obligations and comply with the terms of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Chairman PAC Noor directed the SBP to take action against unlicensed moneychangers. He also directed the FIA to set up a special counter at airports to facilitate labourers working abroad and sending remittances.

During audit of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), the audit officials revealed a financial misappropriation of Rs37.9 million during the meeting of the PAC.

The audit officials, while briefing the PAC, stated that the employees of Okara, Bahawalpur, and Jhang branches of ZTBL were involved in misappropriation. President ZTBL Shahbaz Jameel informed the committee that some of the money has been recovered from the accused employees, while rest of the cases are with the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

He highlighted that the bank has earned a pre-tax profit of Rs3 billion during June2022 and the bank has rescheduled Rs12 billion of loans due to farmers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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