Unclaimed Prize Bonds Worth Rs 5 Billion Linger Despite Deadline Extension

Unclaimed Prize Bonds Worth Rs 5 Billion Linger Despite Deadline Extension

Karachi, November 8, 2023 – In a startling revelation, official data from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has shown that discontinued bearer prize bonds worth a staggering Rs 5 billion remain unclaimed as of September 30, 2023.

These unregistered bonds, which were intended to be phased out, continue to be held by the public, despite the government’s efforts to transition to a more transparent and documented financial system.

The decision to halt transactions involving bearer national prize bonds in denominations of Rs 7,500, Rs 15,000, Rs 25,000, and Rs 40,000 was made in order to bring more transparency to the country’s economy. The government had set June 30, 2023, as the deadline for exchanging these bonds for registered alternatives. However, recognizing the significant number of unclaimed prize bonds still in circulation, the central bank issued a circular to extend the deadline to June 30, 2024.

The extension of the redemption period is a testament to the government’s commitment to address this issue and promote compliance with the prize bond regulations. The unclaimed bearer bonds are considerable, with Rs 1.52 billion in Rs 7,500 denominations, Rs 1.76 billion in Rs 15,000 denominations, and Rs 798 million and Rs 817 million in unconverted prize bonds with denominations of Rs 25,000 and Rs 40,000, respectively, as of September 2023.

This extended deadline provides individuals with a golden opportunity to convert their unregistered prize bonds and claim their rightful prizes. The initiative aims to streamline the management of unclaimed prize bonds and foster greater transparency in the financial system. The government has expressed its intention to ensure that all citizens have access to the winnings associated with these bonds.

While the extension offers a chance for individuals to rectify their prize bond investments, it is also a reminder of the importance of adhering to financial regulations. By converting unregistered bonds into registered ones, citizens contribute to the government’s broader goal of documenting financial transactions and curbing illegal activities.

The unclaimed prize bonds could potentially hold life-changing prizes for their owners, but these opportunities can only be realized if individuals act swiftly to meet the extended redemption deadline. Moreover, the government believes that this process will encourage a more transparent and compliant approach to handling financial assets, further strengthening Pakistan’s economic landscape.

In light of this announcement, the SBP has urged all citizens holding unregistered prize bonds to take full advantage of the extended deadline and promptly complete the conversion process. It is essential for individuals to claim their prizes and ensure that their financial investments are in line with the evolving regulations of the country.

The central bank has assured the public that this extension is a one-time opportunity, and once it expires on June 30, 2024, no further extensions will be granted. Therefore, time is of the essence for those holding unclaimed bearer prize bonds to secure their winnings and contribute to the government’s drive for a more transparent and regulated financial system.

The revelation of Rs 5 billion worth of unclaimed discontinued bearer prize bonds in Pakistan underscores the importance of staying in compliance with financial regulations. The government’s decision to extend the deadline for converting these bonds is not only an opportunity for individuals to claim their prizes but also a significant step toward a more transparent and documented economy. It is now up to the citizens to seize this opportunity and ensure that their financial assets align with the evolving norms of the country’s financial system.