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ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday disposed of the issue of $3 billion worth of loans to over 628 businessmen at zero markup rate during the tenure of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The in-camera meeting of the top parliamentary watchdog which met here with Noor Alam Khan – a dissident of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – in the chair, disposed of the matter after getting a briefing from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

The sources said that the SBP officials informed the panel that commercial banks offered these loans at concessionary rates during the Covid-19 pandemic.

SBP’s TERF during PTI govt’s tenure: PAC to examine list of 620 borrowers in camera

They said that the facility was introduced during Covid-19 for the business community as investment had dipped during the pandemic.

They insisted that the loans had been issued by commercial banks, adding the Temporary Economic Refinance Facility (TERF) had been given during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The sources said that the PAC chairman wanted to refer the matter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), but had to dispose of the matter after some members of the committee opposed the proposal, saying it would shatter the confidence of the investors.

Jameel Ahmed, the governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), they added, provided the details of the interest-free loan given to 628 individuals; however, he did not reveal the names of those who availed the facility.

Meanwhile, the PAC also disposed of audit objection on the construction of Lahore-Sialkot Motorway project without design approval. The PAC chairman questioned the Communications Ministry officials as to why the design of the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway was not approved.

The committee was informed that despite the construction of the motorway, its design had not yet been approved, adding that the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) – a military engineering organization – submitted designs twice but these were rejected by the National Highways Authority (NHA).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Adnan Aziz Jul 12, 2023 08:46am
"....PAC chairman wanted to refer the matter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), but had to dispose of the matter after some members of the committee opposed the proposal, saying it would shatter the confidence of the investors...". So let all these irregularities go unpunished for one reason or the other. COVID affected all traders, why concessionary loan to the selected few. What guarantee is there that these loans were used for the permitted purposes? Is this 'accountability'?
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Tulukan Mairandi Jul 12, 2023 08:48am
Wow. It shows PDM was also beneficiaries
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Dan Jul 12, 2023 09:35am
@Adnan Aziz, it is naïve to raise fingers before knowing the whole process of disbursement of loans under concessionary schemes. A rather prudent approach by central bank and committee is to monitor post disbursement benefits that those loans were to provide to the reeling economy, as the regulator can have all the info from banks regarding these loans. Only then future viability of such schemes may be ascertained.
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Usman Jul 12, 2023 10:45am
@Adnan Aziz, That's because the loan might have gone to the untouchables.
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Yousaf Hyat Jul 12, 2023 12:58pm
@Usman, absolutely true … plus why in camera??
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Fazeel Siddiqui (Overseas Pakistani) Jul 12, 2023 01:00pm
Send the TERF facility users to NAB that why liquidity kept some private sector businesses & employment survived in pandemic but be careful don't ask any delinquent loans and and their waivers worth trillion rupees awarded in so called high economic growth times of PML/N, PPP & Dictator Musharaf. By the way don't dare to question FWO what corruption & irregularities always found in their billions dollars projects this is sheer humiliation of saints like innocent martyrs blood, instead make another DHA or Bahria Town in martyrs recognition.
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Bilal Arshad Deo Jul 12, 2023 02:14pm
@Adnan Aziz non sense Loans were given to support liquidity and almost 99% timely recovered, go for the data PIA Railway and hundred government institutions were destructed by the 72 + last one year through appointments and looting. In 1992 spinning mills (NS / AAZ) and riches were waived no pain in your ................ what an idiot you are to comment
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Dr Arbab naveed Jul 12, 2023 07:44pm
It's not unusual to disperse commercial loans during covid 19 at a concessionary rates in a worst hit economy during pandemic, question arises were they fit for purpose ?and if not any actions taken by enforcing departments.
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Jamil ur Rahman Jul 12, 2023 08:08pm
According to state bank, this loan was arranged by commercial banks and disbursed. But the actual question is either this has been paid back as per its repayment schedule or written off similar to old practice.
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Mohammad Aleem Khan Hoti Jul 12, 2023 11:13pm
This is strange that few parliamentarians were of the opinio that confidence of investors will be shattered. Question will these parliamentarians reveal the name and confirm that borowed intetest free loan were invested in Pakistan and not laundered ? Will the parliamentarians be kind enough to tell the nation regarding the nature of the buisiness of Maulana Tariq Jameel who was also benificiery out of 3Bn USD.
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Zeeshan Idrees Jul 13, 2023 10:13am
Where can we see the list of these 628 beneficiaries
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Ali Jul 13, 2023 01:00pm
@Bilal Arshad Deo, Nonsense. All cronies who were beneficiaries of public money. Corrupt
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Ali Jul 13, 2023 01:02pm
@Dan, Why shouldn't the fingers be raised if deals are done in darkness with no transparency. Why hide in secrecy if noble work was done.
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