ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Privatisation Rana Asif Tauseef is a principal loan defaulter along with other family members, and is facing a case of recovery of outstanding loans through disposal of his assets. Another three similar suits are ready to be filed in a banking court.
Four textile related companies owned by the minister and his other four family members are defaulters of Rs616.63 million of the Bank of Punjab (BoP). Rana Asif was inducted in the federal cabinet along with his Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) colleagues on May 2.
The minister was not available for comments despite repeated calls to his office and SMS messages sent to his mobile. The requests to call back left with his personal staff members - Sultan and Ashfaq - over the last two days went without a response. Sources closer to the minister, however, said that claiming to be in the know of the issue, told The News that the negotiations were under way with the bank to settle what they called not a wilful default. They contended that the mills in question faced ups and downs like any other unit, and there was no question of eating up loans. They ruled out any fould play on part of the Rana family.
However, a senior BoP official dealing with the assets management told The News that a case for recovery of the outstanding loan of Rana Hosiery & Textile Mills (Pvt) Ltd., has been filed in the LHC while similar cases regarding the defaulted loans of Rana Denim Mills Ltd., Rana Fabrics (Pvt) Ltd., and Rana Textile Mills Ltd., have been prepared and would be filed shortly.
Apart from the minister, his close family members, including Rana Zahid Tauseef, former member of the National Assembly, Rana Arif Tauseef, Rana Atif Tauseef and Rana Usman Zahid, are common directors in all the four companies, according to the BoP.
The official said that Rana Denim Mills Ltd., which was in the business of producing and exporting denim fabrics, was initially sanctioned an amount of Rs31 million as working capital in 2006. Later, the package was enhanced that presently stands at Rs327 million. The account faced default as all export lines went overdue because nothing was repatriated.
Rana Textile Mills Ltd., was initially sanctioned Rs100 million in 2003. Subsequently, the loan was enhanced to over Rs170 million. The account also faced default as all export lines went overdue as nothing was repatriated.
The BoP official said that the third company, Rana Fabrics Ltd., was primarily sanctioned a package of Rs20 million in 2003, which was later enhanced to over Rs70 million. The account has been designated as non-performing due to non-payment of markup since July, 2010. In addition, there are not enough export documents to meet the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) criteria of refinance loan as export performance of the company for year 2010 is short by Rs25 million.
Rana Hosiery & Textile (Pvt) Limited was initially allowed Rs20 million in 2003. The package subsequently underwent periodical reviews and enhancements and presently stands at Rs50 million. The account was originally categorized as non-performing on Jan 1, 2009 due to non-payment of markup. Refinancing was approved in March 2010 but the company failed to adhere to repayment terms. The BoP has filed a recovery suit, which is pending before the banking court, Faisalabad, while filing of recovery suits in other three group accounts is also under process.
The BoP official said that the defaulters have been reminded time and again about their mandatory obligations but they have failed to come up with a sound proposal for early settlement of their liabilities.
Another official said that Rana Asif has been inducted in the cabinet without prior clearance from the SBP’s CIB (Credit Bureau of Information) where he along with other directors of the four companies was listed as defaulters. There is a bar on loan defaulters to contest election to the national or provincial assembly, he said.
Rana Asif was elected to the National Assembly from NA 80 Faisalabad in the 2008 general elections for the second consecutive time. He fought the 2002 parliamentary polls on the PML-N ticket, but later changed loyalties and sided with the PML-Q. In the 2008 elections, he defeated PML-N’s Qasim Farooq and PPP’s Tariq Habib.
His brother, Rana Zahid Tauseef, who previously used to be elected to the National Assembly on the PML-N tickets, served as district Nazim Faisalabad. He did not contest the last two general elections. Rana Asif’s profile says he is a businessman by profession and completed his MBA studies in 1996 from London School of Business Administration.