Non-transparent loan write off

THE issue of loan write off is once again in the limelight as the
apex court has issued summoned to 222 beneficiaries including firms and companies to appear on June 8 for their alleged involvement in getting non-performing loans worth billions of rupees written off by commercial banks. The court had taken a suo motto notice of media reports that the State Bank of Pakistan had quietly allowed commercial banks to write off NPLs under a scheme introduced during tenure of former President Pervez Musharraf.
The issue of non-transparent and scandalous loans write off has been surfacing off and on but so far this has not been addressed satisfactorily and the loathsome practice of eating billions of rupees is continuing. What the Supreme Court is now probing is just a tip of the iceberg as the Commission formed by the court to go deep into the matter has complained in its voluminous report that despite its best efforts, the banks and DFIs did not provide information on loans sanctioned or written off on other than business considerations. It also added that the bankers were either afraid of politicians or civil/military bureaucracy, or were privy to sanctioning of loans or factually the quantum of such loans was not high. One can imagine the nature and scope of the problem by the fact that these 222 cases involve hefty amount of Rs. 54 billion. Instead of concentrating on high profile cases for understandable reasons, it is responsibility of the judiciary and NAB to focus on this kind of corruption that is going on unchecked since creation of Pakistan. It is also worth mentioning that the judiciary has too much on its plate and is unable to take cases to their logical conclusion.

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