Dams fund donations dip after Nisar’s retirement
January 20 2019 01:06 AM
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Pakistan Supreme Court Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar
Saqib Nisar

Internews/Islamabad

On the first day after the retirement of former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, the dams fund set up by him witnessed a steep decline, the official website of the Supreme Court showed.
According to the website, only Rs14.43mn in donations were received in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Prime Minister of Pakistan’s Diamir-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam Fund Account on Friday (January 18).
The fund, which stood at Rs9.28bn as of the filing of this report, had been receiving an average of Rs47.6mn daily since its establishment on July 6 last year by Nisar.
Friday’s figure shows a 70% decrease from the daily average.
Interestingly, on Thursday, on Nisar’s last day as chief justice, the dams fund saw Rs79.52mn in donations, almost five times the amount received the very next day.
Legal and economic experts had in the past warned about the sustainability of the dams fund following the chief justice’s retirement.
In addition, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), which used to update the status of fund on a daily basis, has not done so since January 15, two days before Nisar’s retirement.
According to the State Bank website, the top 10 institutional donors are employees of the Punjab government, with Rs1,091,455,518, the Pakistan army (Rs582,071,939), the Strategic Planning Division (Rs201,093,824), the Pakistan air force (Rs100,280,791), Naval Accounts Controller Sajid Ali (Rs63,826,604), the Frontier Constabulary (Rs40,000,000), Bahria Town (Rs110,127,185),
The Karachi Port Trust and the Habib Bank Limited Islamic Charity (Rs100,000,000 each), Qarshi Industries, Engro Corporation, US Apparel and Textile Mill, and Bestway Cement (Rs50,000,000 each), and employees of the SBP and its subsidiaries (Rs44,279,498).
The top 10 individual donors are Mohamed Ali Tabba with Rs100mn, Hasho Group chief executive Murtaza Hashwani (Rs60mn), Sardar Tanvir Ilyas Rs29.5mn, Riaz Hussain and Yasmeen Riaz, Muslim Commercial Bank (Rs20mn each), Abdul Hannan Khan (Rs19,882,351), Ziaullah Qureshi from Switzerland (Rs16,374,476), Zeeshan Ahmad (Rs16,374,476), Shan E Abbas Ashary from Saudi Arabia (Rs13,748,428), Zafar Siddiqui (Rs13,300,000), and Amjad Ali Khan (Rs13,230,004).
The State Bank data shows that overseas Pakistanis have donated Rs1.23bn to the fund up till January 15.
The groundbreaking ceremony of Mohmand Dam is expected to be held later this month.
The project will be built at a cost of Rs309bn by a consortium of a Pakistani engineering firm and a Chinese company, which have won the bid.
Former chief justice Nisar launched the campaign to raise funds for the construction of dams in July last year.
Later, Prime Minister Khan joined the campaign and issued an appeal to overseas Pakistanis to donate generously.
He asked them to contribute at least $1,000 each, and those who can afford were requested to give more.
To mobilise funds, some ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party lawmakers, including Senator Faisal Javed, visited foreign countries where donations were given or pledges were made.
Nisar also paid a visit to Britain for the purpose.



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