ISLAMABAD, Nov 4 (APP):The government has amended the nominee rules for issuance of National Savings Schemes (NSS) certificates on the court orders to ensure payment of dues to ‘legal heirs’ in case of death of certificate holders as required under the Muslim Law of Inheritance.

According to the Finance Ministry, the Sindh High Court (SHC), in its judgment of Aug 23, 2016 had ordered the authorities to align the NSS rules and procedures so that payment of principal amount and profit thereon (if any), in case of death of a certificate purchaser/investor, would be made to his/her legal heirs according to the succession certificate issued by a court in accordance with the Muslim Law of Inheritance that was currently applicable in Pakistan.

The court had issued directives for doing away with the previous practice whereby a person was nominated by a certificate purchaser/investor in the event of his/her death, a ministry press release said.

“In light of the orders of the Honourable Sindh High Court, the proposed changes in the rules were twice widely publicized through print and electronic media to solicit public opinion,” the ministry said.

The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) also carried out due diligence keeping in view the suggestions received from the public and in light of the SHC decision and those of the Supreme Court given on different petitions.

The ministry said,“The rules were vetted by the Law and Justice Division, which were subsequently approved by the 10-member Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC) and the Federal Cabinet.”

The response of the general public, it said, had been positive as many legal heirs were being deprived of their due inheritance as the previous rules were not in line with the law of the land.

According to previous NSS rules, in case of death of an NSS investor, principal amount and accrued profit were paid to the nominees, according to the shares as set by the investor or account holder, at the time of opening of account.

When put to the public review, proposed changes in the rules of nomination attracted 174 objections and suggestions by April 2018.

The amended National Savings rules, the ministry said, provided that in case of death of the purchaser of certificates, payment of principal amount and profit till date of payment in respect of certificates of the deceased would be payable to logical heirs according to the succession certificate issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

“However, in case where total net payable amount does not exceed Rs100,000, payment will be made to the nominees, upon furnishing a duly verified and attested copy of Family Registration Certificate issued by NADRA (National Database Registration Authority) and an affidavit specifically set out for the purpose, to the effect that he or she will be bound to distribute the received amount among all legal heirs according to their due share as per law of the land,” it added.

It may be mentioned the CDNS has saving schemes like Defence Saving Certificates, Bahbood Saving Certificates, Pensioner Certificates and Accounts, National Savings Deposit Accounts and Post Office Savings Bank Accounts, which not only help raise cheaper funds from the public to meet the financial gap, but also provide a safe avenue of saving and investment to the people, and relief and social security to vulnerable segments of the society.