Unfortunate Sindh Bank
By Dr. Ali Akbar Dhakan


Dr. Ali Akbar DhakanWith reference to a news item appeared in Daily Kawish dated 9th Nov. 2009 on the above subject, its historical background is given in the following paras:

Since late eighties, provincial Banks as the Punjab bank and the Khyber Bank have got existence and started their functions after a great fight with the central government of Pakistan as in the names of provinces possessing the ownership there of, federal Government and the state Bank of Pakistan raised objections and showed their reluctance but the brave leaders and bureaucrats of the Punjab and NWFP got NOCs from the Govt. of Pakistan and consequently from the State Bank of Pakistan. Both banks functioned as commercial Banks first of all within their provinces and then throughout the country having their HQs at Lahore and Peshawar respectively. The people of both the provinces got benefits of employment, finance, training and economic development schemes and facilities throughout their provinces. The management of both banks did not allow the people of other provinces to get appointment and employment and other facilities. All the benefit of banks went to the people of their provinces. In this way all the commercial, development, financial, employment, social, infrastructure etc facilities multiplied in these provinces and consequently more and more economic development and prosperity took place in these provinces. From the deposit of the people of other provinces, these two provinces got maximum profits and benefits. In the Sindh province, such struggle in establishing such a bank of Sindh province was started and a voice was raised in this regard but the people having vested interests and the bureaucrats belonging to these above provinces working in Sindh Govt. departments, the state bank of Pakistan and also in the federal Government raised their objections and hurdles in the initial period but the slogan, demand and voice of Sindh people succeeded at last, when an Act of Sindh bank was passed by Sindh Assembly in 1995. Since then the same groups spread out their hardships and rumours to the effect of Sindh Bank‘s expected failure if established because of ill intentions of some strong Urban groups and law and order situation prevalent in Sindh and also from the side of the high bureaucracy working in Sindh Govt. departments. Luckily in the regime of Mr. Arbab Rahim, an advertisement appeared in the daily news papers regarding the establishment of Sindh bank in the years 2004-05 but unluckily , the Govt. of Sindh got set back and due to change of the then Sindh Govt. regime, the process of work on Sindh bank stopped. It was the day of happiness when the new Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah took oath and announced in his oath taking speech the establishment of this bank in 2008. But after expiry of full one year, an advertisement appeared to obtain expressions of interest for establishing the Sindh bank .It was strange to note in the proposal that no mention was made about the existing Sindh bank act and due to unawareness the proposal was prepared in violation of the act of 1995.When we indicated them about the availability of this act and its violation, the officers at the helm of affairs of the finance department showed their negligence but promised to act or prepare the proposal in accordance with the provisions of the existing act of 1995.Now from the above news item appeared in the daily Kawish dated 9-11-09 , it has also been observed that the same following violations of the provisions of the Sindh bank act 1995 have been made.

(1). In the act the management means majority will remain with Sindh Govt. which means majority of shares about 51% will be of the Sindh Govt. and 49% of the Private sector. The new proposal 40% Sindh Govt. share and 60% private will change the management to remain in the hands of the private sector which means there will be no management of Sindh province and all the accruing benefits mentioned above in case of the Punjab and Khyber banks will not go to the people of Sindh but all benefits will be accrued by other people and the people of Sindh will be deprived from all such benefits which situation the people of Sindh are already facing and suffering from.

(2). On the preparation of feasibility of the bank, about Rs 3 crore have been proposed to spend which could be prepared in about Rs.50 lac.

(3). The proposal of preparation of this feasibility has been approved by 5 officers of the Sindh Govt. finance department including the secretary and special secretary Finance department except one a Junior retired officer of some bank.

(4). The Secretary Finance Mr. Pechuho is the brother-in-law of Mr. Asif Ali Zardari and the special Secretary is the daughter of the present Chief Minister of Sindh. So to be at the safe side this contract of making the feasibility report of the bank at a very higher cost of Rs 3 crore may be revised and the feasibility may be allowed as per the Sindh Bank act 1995 otherwise people of other provinces and no people of Sindh will be able to get benefit from Sindh bank established in violation of the existing Act 1995.

(5). According to SBP policy, Rs 6 billion is the fee for getting NOC for the proposed commercial Bank and not Rs 2 billion as mentioned in the proposal.

(6). It has also been heard that Govt. of Sindh Finance department has deposited about Rs 40 billion in various banks. It is therefore suggested that the Sindh Government should plan and launch to establish various industries and manufacturing units in rural areas of Sindh alongside the main Roads of Sindh so that the unemployed people of Sindh can get employment and earn their livelihood. In addition to industrial units, agro based industries may also be setup to make the Sindh province and its people prosperous rather to keep such available funds idle and without any economic and social benefits.

(7). The feasibility of he Bank has been advertised just like a tender to construct building or road from the firms for which about Rs 3 crores are proposed to be spent whereas from such a huge amount a group of about 10 senior bankers could have been appointed with necessary office premises and equipments to perform all the functions of the establishment of the bank.

(8). In order to avoid any blame on the CM and the President, It is advisable that neutral and honest senior officers of Sindh Govt. may be posted as secretary and special secretary Finance department in place of the present ones.