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Commission gets details of politicians’ loans

April 11, 2013

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Former Water and Power minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar. – APP (File Photo)

ISLAMABAD: The central bank has reported to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that former defence minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar had obtained loans worth more than Rs4.6 billion from banks in the name of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

But it appears that SBP has ignored the fact that the PIA is under the defence ministry and Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, being the defence minister as well as chairman of the national airline, had obtained the loans from the Bank of Punjab, Habib Bank, National Bank, Askari Bank, United Bank, Pak-Libya Holding Company and Habib Metropolitan Bank.

The payment of these loans is overdue. According to banking regulations, a loan not repaid for three months is overdue and if its repayment is not made for one year, it is called a default.

Dawn could not reach Mr Mukhtar and the spokesman for the SBP for comments despite repeated attempts.

Mr Mukhtar has also received loans worth Rs116.04 million in the name of his daughter, son and wife for Dar-us Salam Textile Mills. The payment of these loans is overdue.

According to the SBP, Mr Mukhtar and his family had got no loan written off for one year ending on Feb 28, 2013.

Banking sector experts have criticised the calculation of loan write-offs based on a limited period.

“What if any of the big shots, including former cabinet members, have written off loans two or three years ago,” said a senior executive of a private bank.

“Big loans are managed on the basis of 5-10 years and overdue also shows that they were not performing smoothly even in the recent past,” he said.

There is no banking record of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, but the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has said that a wilful loan default case was pending against him with an accountability court in Rawalpindi.

The High Court has granted a stay and a quashment petition filed by Nawaz Sharif is still pending with the court.

The much talked about certificate issued by the NAB says that it has no information about any conviction or plea bargain against former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has reported to the ECP that former deputy prime minister and PML-Q leader  Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi paid Rs223,708 in taxes, almost 33 per cent of his income of Rs604,524, in 2010.

His income more than doubled to Rs1.22m after his party joined the government in 2011, but he did not pay any tax that year.

Although Mr Elahi’s income dropped to Rs800,000 in 2012, he paid an enormous amount of Rs1.26m in taxes.

Retired Gen Pervez Musharraf has no history of loans overdue or default and no cases pending with the NAB.

According to the FBR, Gen Musharraf had an income of Rs1.38m in 2010, Rs1.46m in 2011 and Rs1.56m in 2012, but he paid no taxes.

PTI chief Imran Khan’s income was Rs9.4m in 2010 and he paid Rs1.8m in taxes.

His income dropped to Rs2.9m in 2011 and Rs3.5m in 2012 and he paid Rs308,608 and Rs267,440 in taxes.

According to the SBP, Imran Khan is neither a loan defaulter, nor he has any loan overdue.

ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan has no pending loans, no NAB record and he paid Rs80,284 in taxes in 2012.

Another ANP leader Ghulam Ahmed Bilour’s income was Rs1.02m in 2011 and Rs1.15m in 2012. He paid Rs115,893 and Rs91,943 in taxes.

Mr Bilour has to pay a loan of Rs4.37m which he had secured for his company Bilour Enterprises from the Bank of Khyber.

MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar did not pay any tax in 2010 because he had no income, but his income soared to Rs2.69m and he paid Rs96,988 in 2011.

His income doubled to Rs4.93m in 2012 and he paid 274,149 in taxes.