The government has decided to discontinue the prize bond valuing Rs. 25,000 for banking and financial operations across the country with immediate effect.
In a circular issued to the CEOs of the Banks, the central bank said that the Finance Division had issued a notification on December 9, 2020, regarding conversion, redemption, or encashment of Rs. 25,000 denomination National Prize Bonds and issuance of Rs. 25,000 denomination Premium Prize Bonds (Registered), with immediate effect.
According to the circular, National Prize Bonds of Rs. 25,000 denomination shall not be sold with immediate effect and will not be encashed or redeemed after May 31, 2021.
The following move is aimed at addressing concerns of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that has put Pakistan on its grey list over reported failure to check money laundering and terror financing.
The circular further stated that cash payment for encashments of the cited bonds is not allowed. However, the bondholder(s) shall have the following options to replace or encash these bonds:
The Bonds can be converted to Rs. 25,000/- denomination Premium Prize Bonds (Registered) through the 16 field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation, and branches of six authorized commercial banks, i.e., National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited, United Bank Limited, MCB Bank Limited, Allied Bank Limited, and Bank Alfalah Limited, added the circular.
The authorized commercial banks shall also issue Rs. 25,000/- denomination Premium Prize Bonds (Registered) as per the prescribed procedure, with immediate effect. The stock of the same has already been delivered to authorized commercial banks, said the SBP.
- The bondholder shall be required to submit a written request for conversion of bearer bonds to Rs. 25,000/- Premium Prize Bonds (Registered) on the prescribed application form.
- The bondholder shall also be required to submit prescribed application forms for registration or purchase of Premium Prize Bonds as per the procedure in vogue.
Replacement with Special Savings Certificate (SSC)/Defence Savings Certificate (DSC)
The Bonds can be replaced with SSC or DSC through the 16 field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation, authorized commercial banks, and National Savings Centers, added the circular.
All authorized commercial banks shall, therefore, accept requests for replacement of bearer bonds with SSC or DSC on the prescribed application form attached at Annexure A.
The bondholder shall also be required to submit an application form for the purchase of SSC or DSC (SC-1) as per the prescribed procedure.
Encashment at Face Value
The Bonds will only be encashed by transferring the proceeds to the bond holder’s bank account through the 16 field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation, at authorized commercial bank branches, and to the Savings Accounts at National Savings Centres.
All commercial banks shall receive requests for encashment of bearer bonds on the prescribed application form. A copy of the application form duly signed and stamped, shall be provided to the bondholder as an acknowledgment receipt.
Moreover, the prize bonds encashed or replaced by the general public may be surrendered to the concerned SBP BSC office through the respective regional office of the commercial bank. For this purpose, the regional office may intimate the SBP BSC office three days in advance so that necessary arrangements for receipt of the bonds can be made.
“It is imperative to mention that a notice regarding the above-mentioned facilities must be displayed at prominent places within branch premises for awareness and information of the general public,” added the circular.
The Ministry of Finance in early January 2020 issued “National Saving Schemes (AML and CFT) Rules, 2019” to curb money used for terror financing and money laundering.
Under these rules, the authority will collect all information of persons investing in saving schemes. The information would include name, address, CNIC, passport, etc.