ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan Thursday made it clear that there are no directives to public and private banks halting them from accepting funds in the Supreme Court and Prime Minister Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dams account.

A five-member special bench of the apex court headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed stated this while hearing the implementation of its directives regarding construction of Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dams.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that Dams Funds are in the custody of National Bank of Pakistan, but are supervised by the apex court. He added, “There should be no misgiving about these funds in the public and it precisely be clear to everyone that the funds are in safe hands.”

It was June 13, 2019 when the apex court had decided to invest the Supreme Court and Prime Minister Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dams Funds in National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).

Directs SBP to look into complaints of overseas Pakistanis

Former Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had set up Supreme Court of Pakistan Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams Fund on July 10, 2018 to raise funds for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams. When Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced to join efforts with the Chief Justice for the construction of dams then the Fund name was changed as Supreme Court and Prime Minister Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dams Fund. The amount on June 13 in the Fund was Rs10.66973 billion.

During the hearing, Senior Executive member of National Bank of Pakistan Wajahat Qureshi informed the bench about the status of the Dam Funds. He said that with crude interest the money on 28-02-2020 will be Rs12.098 billion.

Justice Ijaz stated that there are complaints that the people go to deposit money in the private banks, but they are not accepting the money in Dams Funds. He said that no order has been issued in this regard. The counsel for State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said, “I will check it.”

“This account is perpetual and if anyone wants to deposit money in the Dams Funds then he/she can do so,” said Justice Ijaz.

He further said that overseas Pakistanis and Pakistanis living abroad have also complained that they cannot send money into the Dams Funds Account.

The bench directed State Bank of Pakistan to resolve the issue so that Pakistanis wherever they living abroad can send the money for Dams Funds. The governor SBP directed to file a report in this regard on the next date. The SBP counsel was asked to take immediate measure for continuously receiving the funds.

Chairman WAPDA Major General (retd) Muzamil Hussain informed the court that Mohmand Dam would be completed by 2025. Justice Gulzar said; “We are not alluding or interfering as this is project of WAPDA.” There should be no problem for WAPDA to accelerate the work and complete it as per schedule, he added.

Justice Ijaz observed that the federal government has given commitment that there would be a budgetary allocation.

He inquired from the chairman whether the government providing funds for the Dams.

Muzamil informed that out of 15,000 acres the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa has acquired 900 acres land for Mohmand Dam. About the finance strategy of the dam, he told that 37 per cent have to be provided by the federal government, while 63% funds the WAPDA would arrange itself that include WAPDA equity 26 per cent, local commercial financing 10 per cent and foreign commercial financing 27 per cent.

The court expressed concern over the awarding of contract to Saadat Enterprises, which sublet it to Hasnat Brothers.

Justice Gulzar said the purpose of sub-letting it to make money without doing the required job. The chairman WAPDA is directed to file report on this on next hearing and deferred the proceedings for four weeks.