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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday expressed displeasure over the perceived delay on the part of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in opening of bank accounts under the title of ‘Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam Fund–2018’ for generating funds for the construction of two dams.

“It took the SBP three days to open the account,” the CJP observed during the hearing of a case. An impression was being created as if it was the government and not the Supreme Court which had opened the account for generating funds for the construction of two dams.

Finance Secretary Arif Ahmed Khan has been asked to appear in person before the apex court on Tuesday.

Chief Justice says impression is being created as if it is govt, and not SC, which has opened account for funding dams

On July 4, the Supreme Court had ordered opening of an account with a direction to the federal government, Wapda and the executive authority to take effective measures in the light of the unanimous decisions of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for the construction of 4,500MW Bhasha dam and 700MW Mohmand dam, said a short order, the detailed reasons of which will be issued later.

The account number for raising funds for the construction of dams is: 03-593-299999-001-4 and IBN No.PK06SBPP0035932999990014.

Senate chairman donates Rs1.5m

Meanwhile, Senate chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, who is presently serving as the acting president of Pakistan, has donated Rs1.5 million from his personal account.

According to an official announcement by the Senate Secretariat, Mr Sanjrani said the CJP took a step in the right direction by establishing a separate fund for Bhasha-Diamir and Mohmand dams. He said the initiative taken by the CJP would go a long way in sustaining the economy and end water shortage.

Armed forces’ contribution

In a related development, military’s spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor announced that the armed forces would contribute to the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam Fund. He said officers of the army, navy and air force would contribute their two days’ pay and soldiers one day’s pay for the national cause.

On Thursday, CJP Nisar had also deposited Rs1 million as donation in the account from his personal account.

The donations can be received at all branches of the SBP, all treasuries and branches of the National Bank of Pakistan and all other scheduled banks.

The CJP said people were yearning to donate generously for the fund, but the SBP instead of facilitating it was creating hurdles and difficulties for them by giving an impression as if the people were not coming forward to deposit funds in the account opened by the Supreme Court.

He made it clear that the Supreme Court would ensure that no kickback or commission was siphoned off during the entire process of the construction of two dams.

Likewise, the audit of the funds would be conducted on the orders of the apex court, the CJP observed.

He said some people informed the apex court that people generally had no confidence in the government and, therefore, they would not contribute funds created by it.

CJP Nisar dropped hints that after his retirement the next two chief justices would be requested to take personal interest in the construction of dams.

The fund created on the court orders can receive donations from both domestic and international donors and contributions from abroad.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2018