Monday, August 15, 2022 23:06

Discrepancies Worth Billions Creep up in SBP Accounts

Posted by on Saturday, September 6, 2014, 12:14
This news item was posted in Business category and has 0 Comments so far .
Pakistani Currency

Pakistani Currency

Discrepancies worth billions of rupees have surfaced in the accounts of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), suggesting a deliberate attempt to understate the budget deficit for the previous fiscal year.

In what is seemingly an act of ingenious accounting, the government has booked SBP’s outstanding profit for the last two fiscal years of the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government’s tenure (FY2011-2012 and FY2012-2013) in the central bank’s profit for 2013-14.

The Rs76 billion profit SBP claims has been generated from outstanding net income for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, is not backed by the audited statement of the State Bank’s profit and loss account, which is signed by two of Pakistan’s leading chartered accountancy firms.

In an official bulletin, the finance ministry claimed SBP had posted Rs326 billion in profits for 2013-14 – an unprecedented figure which raised eyebrows in several quarters. The profit helped the government achieve the budget deficit target set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In response to a written query by The Express Tribune, SBP said that out of the Rs326 billion, Rs219 billion was the net profit for 2013-14 and Rs31 billion was earned from the sale of United Bank Limited shares.

The remaining Rs76 billion was claimed by SBP as ‘balance surplus profit for FY2012-13 paid to the federal government during FY2013-14’.

There was a glaring mismatch, however, when SBP’s claims were checked against the bank’s audited profit and loss statement, signed by accountancy firms KPMG Taseer Hadi & Co and A F Ferguson & Co.

According to the audited accounts, SBP’s profit for 2012-13 stood at Rs233.8 billion. The bank transferred Rs220 billion to the federal government in 2012-13, leaving behind a net outstanding profit of only Rs13.8 billion.

When contacted again, SBP contradicted its earlier reply saying Rs62.7 billion was added to the overall profit figure for 2013-14 as ‘balance surplus profit for 2011-12’.

However, the new reply was still off by around Rs6 billion with the audited profit and loss account statement. SBP earned Rs260.8 billion in profit in 2011-2012, of which Rs204 billion were transferred to the federal government, according to finance ministry documents. This left behind Rs56.8 billion in net outstanding profit.

Questions have also been raised over the Rs219 billion net profit for 2013-14 as budget borrowings – which are the main source of SBP’s profits – decreased several times in the same year.

In 2012-13, when SBP posted a profit of Rs233.8 billion, budget borrowings stood at Rs1.446 trillion. Borrowings decreased drastically in 2013-14, coming down to Rs302 billion. SBP’s profits in comparison only showed a slight decrease, standing at Rs219 billion as per the bank’s claim.

Exchange gains, commission income and dividend income are other sources of SBP’s profits, but their combined contribution has never exceeded more than one-fifth of the total income, according to SBP documents.

These revelations deal a severe blow to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government’s claim of achieving fiscal discipline in its first year and appear to be a deliberate bid to understate the budget deficit figures for FY2013-14.

“It is very strange that profits of previous years are being shown as profit for 2013-14,” said Dr Ashfaque Hassan Khan, former director general of the finance ministry’s Debt Management Office. He said it seemed the government had asked SBP to come up with resources to fill the gap.

Independent economists have also criticised the government for not adjusting previous years’ profits against those years’ expenditures.

The questions were sent to finance ministry spokesman Rana Assad Amin, but he did not reply till the filing of this report.

You can leave a response , or trackback from your own site .

No Responses to “Discrepancies Worth Billions Creep up in SBP Accounts”

Leave a Reply