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August 11, 2018

CDNS director general’s term contract to end next week


August 11, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The caretaker government that is in the midst of a political transition has not moved a summary to extend the term contract of the outgoing Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) Director General Zafar Masud, it has been learnt.

At a time, when the caretakers have to handover the reigns of governance to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), it is simply impossible to move any summaries to grant constract extensions for any departments. Masud is going to complete his two-year term on August 22, but due to Eid-ul-Azha, his last working day will be August 17.

A top official at the Finance Division on Friday confirmed that no extension has been granted to the outgoing CDNS DG. “We have not moved any summary for granting him extension,” he said. After assuming power, likely prime minister Imran Khan has to approve a summary for appointment of the new DG.

The post is designated for a 21 grade officer, and some senior officers, including Khalil Ahmed and his wife, being the senior most, as well as some officers deputed in Multan and Abbottabad, are serious contenders for this slot, the source said.

However, like the previous government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the PTI too might choose to advertise for the post.

Savings in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) are dismally low in Pakistan. The CDNS can be held partially responsible for this, however, all other institutions, especially the banking and financial outfits are collectively responsible for this dismal performance.

The CDNS has been criticised for attracting investments from institutions and departments to show an improved performance, instead of floating more new instruments with attractive rates to lure new and potential individual investors.

However, it is important to note that the ruling elite and bureaucracy did create stumbling blocks in its way for allowing new savings instruments.

When CDNS high-ups were contacted on Friday, they claimed that savings mobilisation was not the sole responsibility of the National Savings.

The National Savings Schemes (NSS) targets are divided between, National Savings, commercial banks/ State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and Pakistan Post Office Department, and these annual targets are set and advised to all concerned.

The net savings mobilisation of CDNS remained 110 percent, 103 percent, and 178 percent of the targets during FY2016, FY2017, and FY2018, respectively, while overall NSS portfolio touched Rs3.6 trillion.

The negative net flow on the part of commercial banks was Rs4 billion, Rs12 billion, and Rs13 billion in FY2016, FY2017, and FY2018, respectively, affecting the overall mobilisation of NSS.

The gross receipts during last three years of lowest interest rate regime increased substantially by Rs926 billion, Rs1,007 billion, and Rs1,368 billion during FY2016, FY2017, and FY2018, respectively.

The CDNS alone contributed Rs2,070 billion during these three years.

The number of automated branches increased from merely 48 in August 2016 to 223 (68 percent of the data) with 195 connected to the online system.

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