BANK OF PUNJAB The Bank of Punjab was established on 15 November 1989, with its head office located in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province The main reason for the establishment of the bank was to provide an additional source of credit for the entrepreneurial class of Punjab The bank’s creation was an act of desperation on the part of the provincial administration of Chief Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif At the time of the establishment of the bank, the Punjab administration, under the control of the Islami Jamhuri Itehad (IJI), was engaged in a running political feud with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government headed by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Islamabad This dispute had economic ramifications, including implicit constraints imposed by the central government on access to development banks by Punjab’s entrepreneurial community All development banks were controlled by the central government, and the leaders of Punjab believed that Islamabad was discriminating against their province, in not allocating sufficient investment bank financing Accordingly, and over the central government’s strenuous objections, the Punjab government decided to set up a bank of its own in the public sector Tajammul Hussain, an experienced investment banker, was appointed the bank’s first chairmanIn October 1993, Benazir Bhutto was back in power as prime minister, and her party was also able to form a coalition government in Punjab Despite this political change, and the program of bank privatization launched by the new government, the Bank of Punjab remained under state control

Neither the Bhutto government, the successor government of Mian Nawaz Sharif, nor the military government headed by General Pervez Musharraf revealed any plans to privatize the bank It continued to operate in the public sector, one of the few banks to remain under government control after the privatization of such major commercial banks as Habib Bank Ltd and United Bank Limited

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