September 28, Islamabad:

The Privatisation Commission (PC) has succeeded in getting the first installment amounting to Rs. 170.625 Million as reimbursement of its deposits, which were placed with Trust Investment Bank Limited (TIBL) in the year 2010. The cheque was handed over today to Mr. Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, Secretary PC by Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman NAB at the NAB Head office.

As the total approved amount of Voluntary Return offer amounts to Rs. 404.5 Million, NAB will recover and reimburse the balance amount of Rs. 233.375 Million to PC very shortly.

“The Privatisation Commission is extremely pleased to see our efforts yield such great results but this could not have been possible without the dedication and commitment shown by NAB in pursuing this case. The Privatisation Commission is extremely grateful for the personal interest taken by the Chairman NAB and his team in resolving this matter and ensuring that the wrong-doers are held accountable and justice is done”, said Mr. Sukhera.

In 2010, the TIBL procured Rs500 million of public money in two tranches, ie Rs300 million and Rs200 million on May 26, 2010 and June 28, 2010 respectively, at the rate of return of 12.85 percent per annum for a period of one year.

The investment of Rs500 million was made in violation of sections 14, 16, 18, 19 and 20 respectively, along with other enabling provisions, rules and regulations of the Privatisation Commission Ordinance, 2000 (PC Ordinance) and the Trust Act, 1882.

In February 2011, it was noticed that the investment made with TIBL was in breach of the Finance Division instructions, as well as the provisions of Section 14 of the PC Ordinance. The TIBL was therefore requested for an early withdrawal of the invested amount in February 2011. However, TIBL not only refused to return the amount but also expressed its inability to return the amount even upon maturity ie in May and June 2011, respectively.

After liaising with the Finance Division, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), PC and TIBL entered into a Settlement Agreement on November 28, 2011, whereby TIBL deposited eight post-dated cheques with PC spanning over a span of 12 months for the repayment of the principal outstanding amount of Rs500 million, while agreeing to service mark up at 14 percent per annum on the outstanding amount.

All the cheques were dishonoured upon presentation and the PC was therefore constrained to lodge an FIR with FIA on November 11, 2012 under Section 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 489F (dishonour of cheques) of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860.

As a result of the relentless pressure exerted by the Privatisation Commission, an application for voluntary return of the looted amount was filed by the defaulters with NAB for a lesser amount of only Rs210 Million. They also refused to service the accrued mark-up.

However, the Privatisation Commission continued to actively pursue the matter with the NAB, and insisted on the current actual balance amount due, including the mark-up. It was only due to the stringent efforts of the Privatisation Commission and strong pursuance by NAB, that the looted amount has been returned.

Given that Rs 294.37 million had been recovered earlier, PC will now be able to recover a total amount of Rs 698.87 million on account of Rs 500 million initial placement of funds with TIBL.