Investors urged to register Rs40,000 prize bonds before April 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday offered relaxation to the bearers of Rs40,000 denomination prize bonds, allowing the investors to register their unregistered bonds by March 31, 2020.

Following the decision of the Economic Coordination Committee, a holder of Rs40,000 denomination prize bond could take advantage of various facilities in registering their bonds, according to a statement issued by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.

“Rs40,000 Bearer Prize Bonds could be converted to Premium Prize Bonds (Registered) through 16 field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation, and authorized branches of six commercial banks i.e. National Bank of Pakistan, United Bank Limited, MCB Bank Limited, Allied Bank Limited, Habib Bank Limited and Bank Alfalah Limited,” the statement read.

“In addition, Rs40,000 Bearer Prize Bonds holder can avail the opportunity to replace the bonds with Defence Saving Certificates (DSC) or Special Saving Certificates (SSC) through the 16 field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation, authorized commercial banks and national savings centres.”

Rate of return on DSC and SSC are very attractive, the statement read, adding that currently, the annual rate of return on DSC is 12.47pc whereas annual (average) rate of return on SSC is 11.57pc.

Furthermore, in case the bondholder desires to encash the bond, the encashment proceeds would be credited to the specified bank account of the holder. In this context, the central bank, as well as all the banks, would extend their maximum support to ensure the transfer of payments to the respective account holder.

The finance ministry reiterated that the Rs40,000 Prize Bonds (Bearer) need to be registered by 31st March 2020, and any of the aforementioned opportunities can be availed for the purpose. The ministry clarified that the investment of the bondholder would remain safe in any case.

The ECC had further decided that no further prize bond draw of Rs40,000 would be held, however, all the prize money claims on the already held draws could be claimable within the period of six years from the date of respective draw, as per National Prize Bonds Rules, 1999.

The Finance Division further informed that Rs40,000 Premium Prize Bond (Registered) had already been launched w.e.f. March 10, 2017.

“Registered Prize Bonds offer not only attractive prizes through quarterly draws but also pay reasonable profit through biannual coupon payments,” it stated, adding that all the payments are made to the investor’s bank account through an automated system.

It said the prizes on Rs40,000 Premium Prize Bonds (Registered) are more attractive compared to bearer bonds. “The registered bonds are secure and not prone to forgery and theft. Finance Division has already discontinued the fresh issuance of Rs40,000 bearer bonds w.e.f. February 14, 2019.”

The division further clarified that issuance, encashment and prize bond draw etc. in respect of all other denominations of bearer prize bonds would continue as per existing procedure, according to National Prize Bonds Rules, 1999.

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