ISLAMABAD - State Bank of Pakistan Governor Yaseen Anwar on Thursday said the central bank would provide lists of bank defaulters to the Election Commission of Pakistan on February 26, asking defaulters to settle their matters with the banks a day earlier.

Yaseen Anwar said this while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Finance Revenue and Economic Affairs that met with its chairperson Senator Nasrin Jalil in the chair. The SBP governor asked all the defaulters to settle their matters with the banks before February 25 as the central bank woul submit a final report on bank defaulters by February 26.

"The State Bank of Pakistan will provide all details to the Election Commission of Pakistan regarding bank defaulters and has prepared a list of defaulters”, he noted. He made it clear that there was no difference between defaulters of the National Bank and any private bank.

Replying to a question, he clarified the loans of only those whose areas had been declared calamity-hit were written off. “Those whose loans were cancelled owing to floods/earthquakes are not defaulters,” said Anwar. The SBP has been assigned the task to verify by checking through electronic (e)-Credit Information Bureau (CIB) that candidates are not defaulters of banks.

SBP Governor Yaseen Anwar told the parliamentary committee that the country’s debts had reached 67 percent of the GDP and feared that Pakistan might be trapped in debts if steps were not taken in this regard. He further said the government had reserves to repay to International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the ongoing financial year 2012-2013, as it would have to repay over one billion dollars to the Fund before June 30 2013.

The committee was told that the government had not achieved inflation rate set in the last five years, mainly due to the global financial crisis in the world where oil prices increased manifold in the last several years. The committee was told that Pakistan had received $ 1.8 billion under Coalition Support Fund (CSF) during the ongoing financial year 2012-2013.

Yaseen Anwar said anti-money laundering laws had been enforced to stop illegal transfer of money, adding in 2009, the companies that were working in joint venture with foreign companies were directed to get themselves registered with local regulatory bodies. “Remittances worth $ 14 billion are expected to be received during the ongoing financial year against $ 13.2 billion received in the previous fiscal year,” he said. He added the government was giving incentives to overseas Pakistanis to persuade them to send money through legal means.

The committee members showed concern over the sharp decline in Pakistani rupee against the US dollar and directed the State Bank of Pakistan and the Ministry of Finance to rapidly act whenever rupee depreciation started. The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue asked the government to deduct some amount from developmental and non-developmental side to use the amount so deducted as a loan when it needed.

The meeting also discussed the functions and responsibilities of the State Bank of Pakistan. Ilyas Bilour showed concern that the SBP was a national entity, but did not have its branch in Peshawar. He added if the SBP could not carry cash in remote areas of the country, it should be closed. He said though exports from Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa were worth over Rs two billion, the SBP was not ready to operate there, which was very unfortunate.

Senator Kalsoom Perveen questioned if the SBP head office in Karachi where the law and order situation was very poor could discharge all its functions, why the administration had adopted a discriminatory attitude towards KPK and Balochistan. During the meeting, the SBP governor disclosed that posts of two deputy governors were lying vacant.