Prize bonds worth Rs6.27 billion still unclaimed despite last opportunity

Prize bonds worth Rs6.27 billion still unclaimed despite last opportunity

KARACHI: Bearer prize bonds worth Rs6.27 billion are still unclaimed despite the government has granted a last opportunity to investors to document the same.

The government granted the opportunity to investors to exchange bearer prize bonds worth Rs6.27 billion by June 30, 2023.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) early November 2022 issued a circular directing designated commercial banks to accept the bearer prize bonds for conversion or exchange in prescribed manner.

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The government allowed the extension, which expired on June 30, 2022, considering the genuine problems of investors, who failed to exchange their financial instruments.

The ministry of finance launched the withdrawal of the unregistered prize bonds in a phased manner. The government on June 24, 2019, announced to discontinue the circulation of Rs40,000 denomination national prize bonds.

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Similarly, on December 10, 2020, the government announced to discontinue the circulation of Rs25,000 denomination prize bonds. In April 2021, the finance ministry announced that national prize bonds of denominations Rs7,500 and Rs15,000 shall not be sold.

Since June 2019 the government repeatedly extended the date for exchanging the bearer bonds.

As per the latest data issued by Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS), bearer bonds worth Rs6.27 billion were not exchange or converted by January 2023. The details show bearer prize bonds with denominations of Rs7,5000/-, Rs15,000/-, Rs25,000/- and Rs40,000 amounting Rs2.05 billion, Rs2.32 billion, Rs1 billion and Rs894 million, respectively were remained unclaimed.

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The government is aiming to document the bearer bonds so the exchanging the unregistered bond with cash has been prohibited. The ministry of finance issued various procedure to convert the bond without exchanging with the cash.

Previously, the SBP issued detailed procedure for exchanging or converting the bearer prize bonds.

The bonds can be converted to premium prize bonds (registered) of denomination of Rs25,000 and Rs40,000 (subject to the adjustment of differential amount) through 16 field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation (BSC), and branches of six commercial banks i.e. National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited, United Bank Limited, MCB Bank Limited, Allied Bank Limited, and Bank Alfalah Limited.

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The bonds can be replaced with Special Saving Certificates/Defence Saving Certificates through the 16 field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation, authorized commercial banks, and the National Savings Center.

The bonds will only be encashed by transferring the proceeds to the bonds holder’s bank account through the 16 field offices of SBP BSC as well as the authorized commercial bank branches and to the Saving Accounts at National Savings Centers.