By Muhammad Kashan
Karachi, February 15, 2019: Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) government has instructed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to discontinue the fresh issuance of Rs 40,000 prize bonds.
Pakistan’s most valued and first registered prize bond was launched by PML-N in 2017 to document the economy. Former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on launched first-ever registered premium prize bond on March 17, 2017 aimed to generate financing for fiscal deficit.
Rs80 million is the first prize for this premium bond of Rs40,000 and was available for individuals as well as public and private companies, however, banks cannot buy it. It was the first prize bond of the country’s history with biannual 3 percent interest rate to attract more investors and generate funds.
Sources said that in order to avoid the burden of interest, the PTI government has decided to discontinue the fresh issuance of Rs 40,000 denomination prize bonds.
According to notifications of SBP Banking Services Corporation (BSC) the fresh issuance of Rs 40,000 domination national prize bond will be discounted from effect from February 15, 2019. Following the directives of the federal government, SBP BSC has discontinued the fresh issuance of prize bonds from Friday.
The issuance of fresh prize bonds through cheques has also been discontinued with effect from Feb 15, 2019. However any pending request with processed realization date after Feb 15, 2019 will be entertained through re-issuable balance.
In case of non availability of re-issuable bonds, the applicant will have to opt any other denomination of national prize bond or the amount will be returned.
Fresh issuance of Rs 40,000 prize bonds to national saving Center and commercial banks has been restricted with effect from Feb 15, 2019. However, according to notification, sale and enchantment of all re-issuable balance will continue as per procedure.
According to government announcement, the prize bond draw will continue as per schedule and payment of winning bond will also continue as per procedure.