The total investment in registered or premium prize bonds surged 29 percent to Rs. 22.8 billion during the last year, reported a national daily.
Amidst the ban on unregistered instruments, investors moved their investments toward alternatives including prize bonds.
The sale of premium prize bonds of Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 25,000 denominations were registered at Rs. 17.71 billion by the end of 2019. By December 2020, the Ministry of Finance decided to stop the circulation of prize bonds of Rs. 25,000 denomination, with the cutoff date for exchanging set to 31 May 2021.
For the bonds of denomination of Rs. 40,000, the Ministry announced the discontinuation of the bearer or unregistered bonds on 24 June 2019. These were to be completely discontinued for legal tender by March 2020, but the deadline has now been extended to 30 December 2021.
The investment in these bonds soared to Rs. 21 billion by December 2020, up from Rs. 17.7 billion a year ago.
The premium prize bonds of high denominations were launched with the aim to document the economy, and they are available against valid CNICs and at fixed profit rates besides prize money.
The investment in premium prize bonds remained attractive as the government announced the withdrawal of unregistered prize bonds. The move has come as part of the efforts to ensure verified sources of income and to comply with the requirement of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).