Karachi: According to news reports, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is likely to extend the deadline for prize bond encashment, conversion, and redemption. Citizens will be able to trade prize bonds in denominations of PKR 40,000, PKR 25,000, PKR 15,000, and PKR 7,500 until December 31, 2021, thanks to the extension of the deadline.

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The deadline extension is being considered in response to the requests of overseas Pakistanis who have been unable to return to swap bonds due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The deadline for such exchange and encashment had previously been set by the administration at September 30.

The bonds can be traded in for savings certificates or premium prize bonds, or they can be cashed in for their face value. The central has identified a number of locations, including 16 of its own Banking Services Corporation field offices and six licenced commercial bank branches.

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Premium prize bonds, which can only be issued against computerised national identity cards and bondholders’ bank accounts, were launched by the government in April 2017. The administration will extend the deadline for the third time. The first deadline was set for March 2020, while the second was scheduled for September 30, 2020.

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