SC to form a special bench on written off loans

Islamabad: The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that it will form a special bench to determine the amount to be paid by companies which had got loans worth billions of rupees written off by banks in 2002. Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar a bench of the top court was hearing a case pertaining to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) allowing commercial banks to write off non-performing loans (NPLs) under a scheme introduced during the regime of former president Pervez Musharraf. “Some people obeyed the August 12, 2018 order as 39 out of the 222 (firms) opted for the option of voluntary return of loans,” chief justice said. “We form a special bench to determine the amount to be returned by them.” The bench quashed the case to the extent of the companies that had returned the loans. “As banks said the loans borrowed from them are not liable to be paid, the recovered amount will be deposited in dams’ fund,” Justice Nisar remarked. “Those who opted for the option of voluntary return are lucky as they were exempted from mark-up and other funds. They were asked to return the actual amount they had borrowed from banks. In fact, they were asked to pay 75 per cent of this amount.” The counsel for a petitioner said other people too wanted to avail themselves of the option. To which, the bench said they could deposit the amount with the Supreme Court registrar within a period of two months. The hearing was adjourned for an indefinite period. It is pertinent to mention here that the loans in question were revoked in 2002 on the basis of a circular issued by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) after then finance minister Shaukat Aziz approved the loan write-off scheme.