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January 11, 2019

Dams fund collection exceeds Rs9 billion

National

January 11, 2019

ISLAMABAD: More than nine billion rupees have so far been collected for construction of dams with 13pc being foreign currency component having been transmitted by overseas Pakistanis.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) website, the Supreme Court of Pakistan & Prime Minister of Pakistan’s Diamir-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam Fund Account status of receipt up to January 4 shows a total collection of Rs9,055,405,000 from Pakistan and abroad.

Of these deposits, a sum of Rs7,871,439,269 was collected from Pakistan while an amount of Rs1,183,965,731 was donated by Pakistani expatriates and others living abroad.

Conversion of foreign contributions of Rs1,183,965,731 into American currency comes to $8,465,968 at the rate of Rs139.85 per dollar. Pakistanis living in fifty-two countries and others gave donations, according to the SBP.

The groundbreaking of the Mohmand Dam will be held any time and the project will be built at a cost of Rs309 billion by a consortium of a Pakistani engineering firm and a Chinese company, which have won the bid.

Among the foreign donations, the largest amount was contributed by the Pakistanis living in the United States. They donated a total of Rs439,659,158 or $3,143,790.

Pakistani expatriates residing in Canada gave Rs115,178,071, in Britain Rs234,291,128, in Saudi Arabia Rs104,524,884, in UAE Rs67,556,162, in Switzerland Rs67,556,162, in South Africa Rs67,556,162, in Qatar Rs41,288,570, in Germany Rs22,286,632, in Australia Rs13,850,915, in Bahrain Rs2,382,380, in Hong Kong Rs14,483,204, in Italy Rs2,243,585, in Kuwait Rs6,567,617, in Japan Rs5,816,600 and in France Rs5,816,600.

Overseas Pakistanis from several other countries also made contributions. They include Afghanistan, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, Fiji, Greece, Ireland, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan and Tunisia.

The top ten institutional donors included employees of the Punjab government Rs1,091,455,518, the Pakistan Army Rs582,071,939, Strategic Planning Division Rs201,093,824, Pakistan Air Force Rs100,280,791, Sajid Ali, Naval Accounts Controller Rs63,826,604, Frontier Constabulary Rs40,000,000, Bahria Town Rs110,127,185, Karachi Port Trust and Habib Bank Limited Islamic Charity Rs100,000,000 each, Qarshi Industries, Engro Corporation, US Apparel & Textile Mill and Bestway Cement Rs50,000,000 each, and employees of the SBP and its subsidiaries Rs44,279,498.

The top ten individual donors are: Muhammad Ali Tabba Rs100,000,000, Murtaza Hashwani, CEO, Hasho Group Rs60,000,000, Sardar Tanvir Ilyas Rs29,500,000, and Riaz Hussain and Yasmeen Riaz, Muslim Commercial Bank, Rs20,000,000 each, Abdul Hannan Khan Rs19,882,351, Ziaullah Qureshi Switzerland Rs16,374,476, Zeeshan Ahmad Rs16,374,476, Shan E Abbas Ashary Saudi Arabia Rs13,748,428, Zafar Siddiqui Rs13,300,000 and Amjad Ali Khan Rs13,230,004.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar launched the campaign for collection of funds for construction of dams in July this year. Later, Prime Minister Imran Khan also joined the drive and issued an appeal to the overseas Pakistanis to generously donate for the noble cause. He asked them to contribute at least $1,000 and those who can afford were requested to give more.

To mobilise funds, some ruling party MPs including Senator Faisal Javed visited foreign countries where donations were given or pledges were made. The chief justice also paid a visit to Britain for the purpose.

When contacted by The News, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Media Iftikhar Durrani said that there was a great response to the appeal for donations given the facilities available to the overseas Pakistani for remitting their contributions. “The donations are up to our expectations and we are satisfied.”

He believed that perhaps there are not desired facilities for transfer of moneys and added that the Pakistani expatriates have to be facilitated in a way that they have the arrangement at their doorsteps to donate for the cause. Considering the available facilities, the response has been excellent, he felt.

Durrani said that the concerned ministry was working on an app through which one can remit the money from his cell phone through the banking channel. “Ideas have been floated and technical working has been done. We have now reached the implementation phase. Hopefully, we will be able to introduce the mechanism in Gulf countries and Europe very soon.”

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