ISLAMABAD-Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue has expressed concerns over the fake currency circulation in different parts of the country. The committee, which met under the chair of Senator Farooq H Naik, has decided to summon the senior officials of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on the issue of fake currency circulation in different parts of the country. Senator Mohsin Aziz has raised the issue of fake currency in the meeting. He said that SBP should take action against the fake currency. The committee has also discussed the issue raised by Senator Mohsin Aziz in Senate regarding discriminating credit and lending policies of the private banks in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Balochistan provinces. Deputy Governor SBP informed that they have taken measures to improve the credit and lending policies in aforesaid provinces in last three years. However, the official of the SBP has admitted that there are some technical issues on which central bank in working to resolve.  Officials of Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) informed the committee that SBP had directed the private banks to improve the performance in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Balochistan provinces some five years ago. They further informed that there are 57 branches of MCB in Balochistan. Meanwhile, deposit rate in Balochistan is around 37 percent and 41 percent in Khyber Pakhunkhawa. The MCB is also working on community banking, micro financing, Islamic banking and others. Habib Bank Limited (HBL)’s officials informed that they have also established branches in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Balochistan provinces. The Bank is working to provide loan to the people in these two provinces. Islamic banking would double in next five years. Bank Alfalah’s officials informed that there are many branches of the bank in different parts of the country and providing banking services. United Bank Limited (UBL) and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP)’s officials have also briefed the committee about their function in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Balochistan provinces. However, committee members have expressed displeasure over the details provided by the SBP and private banks. The committee has asked to provide the details of loans and deposit in different parts in all provinces. Meanwhile, the committee should be briefed about loan taken by the government and private sector from the different private banks. The committee has deferred the discussion till next meeting. Deputy Governor SBP informed the committee that they have not banned the crypto currencies in the country.

 However, crypto currencies are not legal tender in Pakistan. In 2018, the SBP said that it has not authorised or licensed any individual or entity for the issuance, sale, purchase, exchange or investment in any such Virtual Currencies/Coins/Tokens in Pakistan.