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July 11, 2018

SBP upbeat about raising funds for two mega dams


July 11, 2018

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is expecting a rave public response to the funds set up for the construction of Diamer Basha and Mohmand dams, the central bank’s senior official said on Tuesday.

"Collection of funds would be higher than required," Shamsul Hasan, deputy governor of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said, addressing a conference. Hasan expressed optimism about raising funds for the construction of two hydroelectric projects as the country is resolved to fight against the potential water as well power shortfall down the line.

The meeting was held with the banks’ executives to share the details of arrangements for the collection of donations.

The SBP, in a statement, said it established a Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dam Fund Account – 2018 for the collection of donations on the instructions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

“The fund shall receive donations from both domestic and international donors -individuals and companies,” it said. Accounts were opened in all SBP (BSC) field offices, commercial banks and microfinance banks.

“Donations can be made online through internet/ATM banking or other channels besides cash deposits at counters of banks,” the central bank said. The SBP also announced its employees would donate theirtwo days’ salaries into the fund, while employees at the SBP subsidiaries would donate their one day’s salary to directly participate in construction of the two dams.

During the conference, the executives of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Habib Bank Limited (HBL), MCB Bank, United Bank Limited (UBL) and Allied Bank Limited announced that their employees would also donate a day’s salaries into the fund.

Besides, management of each of the banks, except for the HBL, would additionally donate funds matching the amount of their employees’ donations. Muhammad Aurangzeb, president of HBL, announced to contribute Rs100 million to the cause on behalf of his bank’s management.

Saeed Ahmad, president of NBP, said all the donations would be transferred to SBP (designated) account within half-an-hour after the deposition of donations at the NBP branches. "If the provided circumstances do not support anyone (NBP employees) to donate, they can walk out," he said.

The central bank, in a separate statement, issued on the same day, said the donations received shall be part of the Public Account of the federal government, separate from the Federal Consolidated Fund, and would be used exclusively to defray the expenditure to be incurred on the construction of the dams.

“The SBP has requested the Finance Division, Government of Pakistan for necessary directive to Chief Finance and Accounts Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad for repatriation of donations / contributions received in Pakistan Missions abroad, to the Nostro account of the SBP for onward credit to the foresaid fund account,” the central bank said.

It said it has been decided to partially modify the donations collection and reporting mechanism for the domestic branches of commercial and microfinance banks to make the collection and reporting of transactions on almost real time basis.

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