Employees of the Supreme Court (SC) that are at Basic Pay Scale (BPS)-16 or above will donate two days' salary to the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams Fund 2018 — an account created by the Finance Ministry in compliance with the top court's orders — a press release by the SC public relations officer said on Wednesday.
During a hearing last week, the SC had observed that water resources were crucial for survival and directed authorities to take immediate and effective measures to build two dams — Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand. Furthermore, it had appealed to the general public, including Pakistanis residing abroad, to donate to the cause.
The account was opened in pursuance of the SC order to the federal government, Wapda and the executive authority to take effective measures in light of unanimous decisions of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to develop the 4,500MW Bhasha dam and 700MW Mohmand dam.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar led the way, formally depositing Rs1 million as a donation in the account from his personal account last week.
Today's statement said that SC employees between BPS-2 and 15 will also contribute to the dam funds by donating a day's salary to the fund.
The legal fraternity in Lahore answered the chief justice's call for donations to the fund as well, with senior lawyers like Chaudhry Zafar Iqbal and Malik Maqbool Siddiq donating cheques of Rs100,000.
Other lawyers also chipped in by submitting cheques to a Bank Al-Habib branch manager, who collected donations in the Lahore High Court (LHC). The lawyers who submitted donations in the LHC belong to both the SC and the LHC.
Not possible to completely prevent fraud in dams fund: SBP governor
During a hearing regarding the dams fund at SC's Islamabad registry, Justice Faisal Arab observed that the court was also receiving messages from private cellphone numbers.
At this, Pakistan Telecom Authority officials informed the court that the fraudulent numbers can be blocked upon reporting.
CJP Nisar meanwhile observed that there should have been one account number (for donation) for every bank, which would reduce the chances of fraud.
But State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa informed the bench that upgrading the banking system to accommodate the same would take time.
The CJP then offered that the owners of all banks could be summoned tomorrow. He observed that the court often receives cases of bank fraud.
The SBP governor said the real objective was to facilitate the public. "It is not possible to prevent fraud 100 per cent," he added.
He informed the court that besides the armed forces, several banks have also announced donations for the fund.
“The officers of army, navy and air force will contribute their two days’ pay, while soldiers [will be donating] one day’s pay to the announced fund for this national cause,” read a statement tweeted by Inter-Services Public Relations chief Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor.
Punjab interim Chief Minister Hassan Askari also donated Rs0.5m via cheque on Tuesday. Officials from Wapda and SNGPL have announced they will donate two days' salary to the fund, while employees from BPS 1-16 will donate one day's salary.
The Ministry of Finance last week opened the account titled "DIAMER-BHASHA AND MOHMAND DAM FUND –2018" to accept funds for construction of the dams.
The account bears Account No.03-593-299999-001-4 and IBN No.PK06SBPP0035932999990014.
An SC announcement said that payments in the fund will be received at all branches of the SBP, all treasuries and branches of the National Bank of Pakistan and all other scheduled banks.