KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Muffasar Atta Malik, while referring to some recent media reports pertaining to honorable Supreme Court’s suo moto proceedings initiated on the basis of misleading, baseless and sensational stories, stated that these reports are maligning those members of the Business Community who availed the State Bank of Pakistan’s Scheme under Circular BPD 29 dated 15th October 2002.
In a statement issued, Muffasar Malik pointed out that many businessmen/ industrialists, who were genuinely in difficulty at that point in time availed the said scheme, but not everyone mis-declared their position under the scheme which was introduced lawfully long time ago. “Hence, everyone should not be treated the same way and all these cases should be thoroughly scrutinized whereas those should be taken to task who mis-declared their financial position or used political influence to benefit from the scheme by State Bank of Pakistan”, he added.
He was of the opinion that State Bank, being the regulator and custodian of the entire Banking System in Pakistan, has effectively discharged its duties and functions and not a single deposit holder has never ever lost his/her deposits in the history of Pakistan.
He said that the above referred Scheme was one of the most prudent of all schemes ever introduced by Government and State Bank to manage and limit the non-performing loans portfolios of the banks and giving necessary impetus to revive sick and limping Industry and businesses. The Scheme was also necessary to allow banks to remove hefty receivables from their Book of Accounts as those amounts were only in the books and could not have been recovered under any circumstances. It is also internationally adopted process of waiving bad debts as world over genuine defaults do occur, therefore genuine defaults should be treated separately, he added.
Muffasar Malik stated that the settlements under the Scheme are past and closed transactions and many of the individuals have passed away also. Any attempt to reopen the settled cases will affect credibility of the system and discourage domestic and foreign investors from initiating new projects. “Meanwhile, these matters should be decided by the State Bank which is equipped with specialized and trained workforce fully capable of handling financial matters”, he advised.