LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday was provided details of loans written off by the Bank of Punjab from July 2008 to June 2016 detailing names of beneficiaries with the written-off amounts.

According to the written answer provided to the Assembly, loans amounting to Rs 1589.3 million, extended to 168 different companies and individuals, were written off along with the mark-up in the last eight years.

The only justification given in the official document for written-off loans is ‘business consideration’. In case of some individuals, it is ‘settlement of default cases’.

Husnain Cotex Ltd of Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh, a company which was given the contract to construct new Punjab Assembly building during Musharraf’s rule is also among the beneficiaries. It got a loan amounting to Rs 80.952 million written off.

JS Developers owned by Javed Akram, Shehla Javed Akram, Saad Javed Akram, Ch Marble Traders owned by Iftikhar Ahmad Chaudhry, SES NET Global Trade owned by Brig. (Retd) Manzoor Ahmad Abbasi, Aziz Mega Textiles owned by Akhtar Rasool, Khan Trading Company owned by Iqbal Khan Khakwani, Khurshid Spinning Mill, Faisalabad owned by Khawaja Asem Khurshid, Honda Point Lahore owned by Khawaja Mansoor Mazhar,  Shahid Nawaz Cotton Ginners, Kahror Pacca owned by Haq Nawaz, Asif Cotton Ginners, Haroonabad owned by Asif Ali Faisal, Ittehad Cotton Industry, Pakpattan owned by M Jamil Ahmad, Nenser Drugs (Pvt) , Lahore, owned by Muhammad Riaz Malik, Tarar Rice Mills, Hafizabad owned by Khizar Hayat Tarrar , Aman Developers owned by Muhammad Faisal Nazir and Hamza Brothers owned by Bashir Ahmad are some of the other known companies in the list.

Bandhan Shadi Hall, Gulberg-III, Lahore, owned by Naeem Aslam, Palki Marriage Hall, Sargodha and Winds Mill Restaurant, Gulberg, both owned Rao Fahim Yaseen are also among the beneficiaries.

A loan amounting to Rs 173.196 million was sanctioned and then written off in favour of DCD Pakistan (Pvt) Limited owned by Sajid Ahmad Dadabhoy of Karachi.

From among the individuals, Imtiaz Rafi Butt and Sardar Muhammad Asif Nakai got a loan amounting to Rs 10.277 million and 0.867 million respectively written off from the BoP.

Through an Assembly question, Dr Wasim Akhtar of Jamat-i-Islami had sought these details. Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal hushed up the matter which could, otherwise, have been a good news for the business groups and individuals from the Punjab legislature. 

Before he could ask supplementary questions, it was consigned to the House Committee concerned.

Infact, the JI lawmaker from Bahawalnagar had not made any such demand, but still the Speaker thought it better to send it to the Committee instead of allowing House debate over it.  

The written answer from the Finance Department available to the Press Gallery did not contain the names of business groups and influential individuals who got their loans totaling Rs 1589.3 million written-off from the bank.

This detail was available only with the mover and he could have asked the government to justify the written-off amounts.

The Bank of Punjab has been in the news for the last over eight years due to alleged corrupt lending to Haris Steel Mills amounting to Rs 8.4 billion.

The case involving its former President Hamaish Khan is pending in the court.

When new President of the BoP, Naeemuddin Khan took charge in 2008, it was alleged that previous management took imprudent lending decisions as majority of the loans were given to unviable businesses against inadequate securities.