SBP allocated Rs21 billion, delay is on government’s behalf

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According to the Supreme Court’s directive, the State Bank of Pakistan has set aside Rs21 billion for the elections to the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa legislatures and has requested approval from the finance ministry to transfer the funds, SBP’s top spokesman Abid Qamar said.

The State Bank was ordered by the court on Friday to transfer Rs 21 billion to the Election Commission of Pakistan and submit a compliance report by Monday afternoon. The SC also set the Punjab elections for May 14th.

The government must approve the release of the funds from the Federal Consolidated Fund (FCF), and the National Assembly must also approve the release.

Given that the government has already borrowed more than Rs2 trillion from banks during FY23, the requisite Rs 21 billion is not a significant issue for it. According to a top banker, the issue is political or constitutional, not financial.