Govt de­clares NBP body cor­po­rate

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Amid pri­va­ti­za­tion spree, the fed­eral govern­ment has no­ti­fied Na­tional Bank of Pak­istan (NBP) as 'a body cor­po­rate' and its staff out­side the purview of govern­ment ser­vice, civil ser­vice or the pub­lic ser­vice. The NBP has also been in­cluded in the list of nine pub­lic sec­tor en­ter­prises (PSEs) the govern­ment plans to di­vest its share­hold­ing through cap­i­tal mar­ket trans­ac­tions.

Based on the govern­ment no­ti­fi­ca­tion, the Na­tional Bank has di­rected all its ex­ec­u­tives, of­fi­cers and staff to sur­ren­der their govern­ment pass­ports forth­with, change their sta­tus as govern­ment of­fi­cers from the pass­port col­umn and not to present them­selves as govern­ment ser­vants, pub­lic ser­vants or civil ser­vants.

A no­ti­fi­ca­tion is­sued by the Min­istry of Fi­nance said the de­ci­sion to de­clare the bank as body cor­po­rate was made af­ter proper le­gal opin­ion ob­tained from the Min­istry of Law and in­de­pen­dent le­gal opin­ion sought by the NBP from three sep­a­rate law firms.

The Fi­nance Min­istry said the Min­istry of Law, Jus­tice and Hu­man Rights had been con­sulted be­fore is­suance of the no­ti­fi­ca­tion. "They have opined that un­der Sub­sec­tion (2) of Sec­tion 3 of the Na­tional Bank of Pak­istan Or­di­nance, 1949 (XIX of 1949), the bank shall be a body cor­po­rate hav­ing per­pet­ual suc­ces­sion and a com­mon seal and shall sue and be sued." The law min­istry also held that NBP had a ju­ris­tic per­son­al­ity and its em­ploy­ees were not civil ser­vants nor have been de­clared pub­lic ser­vants within the mean­ing of sec­tion 21 of the Pak­istan Pe­nal Code, 1860 (Act XLV of 1860).

Ear­lier, the NBP man­age­ment had also ob­served that its ex­ec­u­tives, of­fi­cers and staff were not re­quired to se­cure No Ob­jec­tion Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion (NOC) for trav­el­ing abroad. The law min­istry en­dorsed the view­point that no pro­vi­sion of the law had been found whereby em­ploy­ees of NBP would be clas­si­fied as ' Pub­lic Ser­vants' or 'Civil ser­vants' or 'Govern­ment ser­vants'.

There­fore, em­ploy­ees of NBP do not de­clare them­selves as "govern­ment ser­vants/civil ser­vants/pub­lic ser­vants." When ap­ply­ing for pass­ports, this would not be an of­fence with ref­er­ence to the Pass­port Act.

As a con­se­quence, the NBP di­rected all of its ex­ec­u­tives, di­rec­tors, gen­eral man­agers, and em­ploy­ees who had their ex­ist­ing or valid pass­ports men­tion­ing govern­ment of­fi­cer to change their oc­cu­pa­tion col­umn im­me­di­ately to pre­vent any of­fence un­der the pass­port act. "Now, the NBP em­ploy­ees are ex­empted to ob­tain nec­es­sary NOC from head of­fice for ob­tain­ing in­ter­na­tional pass­port in fu­ture," the bank no­ti­fi­ca­tion con­cluded.

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