People whose loans were waived off must pay up: CJP

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar remarked that people whose loans were waived off must return amount, adding that if there are not able to pay the amount then their assets should be sold.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by the CJP, was the hearing a sou motu case on State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) allegedly allowing commercial banks to write off non-performing loans estimated at Rs54 billion under a scheme introduced by former president Pervez Musharraf.
During the case hearing, the lawyers of a private bank and National Bank of Pakistan appeared before the court.
NBP lawyer told the court that SBP is the main party in the case, while the private bank’s lawyer said that SBP is a regulatory authority while it was the banks which waived off the loans.
The private bank lawyer said that the National Bank Commission had remarked that the case maybe from the past but bank is interested in recovering the amount which was waived off as loans.
“Where is the commission’s report,” asked the CJP. Reacting to this, NBP’s lawyer also said that he hasn’t had a chance to see the report.
Chief Justice Nisar then enquired about the amount which was waived off. Private bank’s lawyer said that Rs54billion were waived off.
Chief Justice Nisar remarked that the cases are old and that is why they are being reopened. “Where are details pertaining to the loans which were waived on the political basis? There are 222 suspicious cases.”
The CJP then pointed out that NBP has waived off loans to many owners of textile mills. “Reports suggest that there was no other investigation into the issue.”
He further said: “We have been hearing this case since 2007. We want reports and clarifications over the issue. The money will be recovered from those who got the loans waived off on a political basis.”
Barrister Zafarullah informed that court that politicians such as Muhammad Khan Junejo, Yousaf Raza Gilani, Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and Chaudhry brothers also got their loans waived off.
In 2010, a three-judge bench comprising former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed had taken notice of the issue.
A circular issued by the SBP governor had also raised serious questions with respect to the written off, remitted, reversed or waived loans/advances from 1971 onward under BPD circular 29 of 2002. Under the order, banks waived loans given out of public money during the Musharraf regime.