Loans worth Rs 74 billion written off in 2008-09, SC told

ISLAMABAD:The Supreme Court was informed on Monday that loans worth Rs 74 billion of 454,737 borrowers were written off during 2008-09. A four-member bench of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Muhammad Sair Ali, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday was hearing a case pertaining to Rs 256 billion worth written-off loans.Syed Iqbal Haider, counsel for the State Bank of Pakistan submitted a report before the court consisting of five volumes on the written-off. According to the report, during 2008-09, 8,698 borrowers got their loans of over Rs 0.5 million each written off, sum of which was Rs 38 billion. The number of borrowers who go their loans worth less than Rs 0.5 million written off was 44,649.The total amount of these loans was Rs 36 billion. He said until December 31, 2009, 56,636 cases of loan defaulters were under adjudication before the courts and banking tribunals. He said the worth of these recoverable loans was Rs 215 billion. During the hearing, the counsel submitted an unsigned draft pertaining to the waived-off loans of Indus Sugar Mills and Redco Textiles, which the court declined to accept, directing the counsel to present the draft signed by the SBP governor.“It has no legal status unless it is signed by a responsible person,” the chief justice said. Iqbal Haider then sought more time to get the draft signed, which the court allowed and adjourned hearing until March 10, 2011. The court called the case a test for recovery of bank loans waived off by the people belonging to mainstream political parties.The chief justice said the SBP governor would be summoned to ask what legal measures were being taken for the recovery of the waived-off loans, adding that the money could be utilised for the welfare of children of the country – PT