Prize-bond draw anomaly

Sir: Not all prize bonds in a series get sold. But, the State Bank includes even the unissued bonds (lying in State Bank vaults and unsold at saving centres or commercial banks) in each draw. As a result of inclusion of unsold bonds in each draw, volume of prize money, and probability of winning is reduced. The prizes on the lucky un-issued bonds are devoured by State Bank of Pakistan, commercial banks or National Saving Centres (staff) themselves. Could SBP, a corporate body, commercial banks or NSCs do so?

Imagine a cashier at a bank or NSC comes to know that an unsold Rs 40,000 prize bond with him has won first prize. He `buys’ it himself. Could the bank check this `across-the-counter cash sale’? Does it not amount to a corporate fraud?

This anomaly could be easily corrected by excluding unsold bonds from each draw. Sale of bonds is closed at banks and NSCs after a month, with two months of waiting until the draw date. That’s sufficient time to get information from commercial banks and NSCs about unsold bonds. As for State Bank, it could easily know which bonds in a series are unsold. It’s so easy to include `excluded bonds’ condition in software.

The Supreme Court, National Accountability Bureau and other agencies should take notice of this anomaly.

AMJED JAAVED

Rawalpindi

Published in Daily Times, September 10th 2018.