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.
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