Dar reviews performance of National Savings

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 19 (APP):Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar Thursday chaired a meeting to review the performance
and other matters related to National Savings.
At the outset of the meeting, the finance minister stated that it had come to his
notice that an anomaly in the tax regime had resulted in taxation of yield on
Behbood Certificates and Pensioners Benefits accounts, according to press
statement.
Apparently the impact on taxation of these schemes was an unintended consequence of certain legal changes introduced in the Finance Act, he said adding that he has already instructed Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to take appropriate measures to remove the anomaly.
On the occasion, DG, National Savings, Zafar Masud briefed the meeting on performance of the National Savings during the last one year. The briefing covered the progress made in areas like
financial inclusion through automation, introduction of new products and improving the customer service and outreach.
The meeting was informed that National Savings has emerged as a formidable vehicle for
financial inclusion with introduction of popular welfare oriented products and
registering a large number of customers of which more than 50% were women.
The efforts of National Savings are being actively supported by the World Bank and Karandaaz
(DFID and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) through up-gradation of IT system,
offering alternate delivery channels (cell phone, internet banking and ATM cards), Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP), Business Intelligence, Data Warehouse, capacity building and training etc.
He said the efforts of National Savings in promoting financial inclusion have been lauded
and recognized, not only nationally but also internationally.
The reputed CFI magazine UK has recently bestowed on National Savings the award for
“outstanding performance in promoting financial inclusion-2017”.
The award is in fact a recognition of the progress made by National Savings in the last one year on
the automation front with 2/3rd of the branches having been connected online and the offering of banking clearing services to the customers.
The meeting was informed that after the successful roll out of Rs. 40,000
Premium Prize Bond (Registered), the Rs. 100,000 denomination bond was on the
cards.
The launch of Shuhada Families Welfare Account and extension of Behbud Saving Certificates
for disabled persons was also coming up. Furthermore the Overseas Pakistanis
Savings Certificates and Shariah Compliant Products were also being considered.
DG National Savings further informed that for customer facilitation, SMS
Service, access through social media and revamping of the institution’s website
had been carried out. He said a complaint resolution cell had been
established at the DG’s Office which disposed of public complaints on daily
basis.
The minister appreciated the achievements made by the National Savings in
various areas particularly financial inclusion and customer outreach.
He also praised the performance of the institution for surpassing the annual savings target. He
assured his continued support to National Savings in achieving the objective of
greater financial inclusion.