National Savings as it stands today is one of the primeval institutions in the country with a legacy of more than 140 years that came into existence with the promulgation of Government Savings Bank Act in 1873. During World Wars I and II, the British Government used this channel to raise funds to meet war-related expenditures. Given the effectiveness and net benefits of these initiatives, the idea of institutionalizing the savings culture was materialized by setting up a National Savings Bureau (NSB) in 1943-44 as an attached department of the undivided Government of India. Since acquiring independence in 1947, this organization remained operational in Pakistan in various forms. The Bureau was renamed as Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) in 1953 with its functions and responsibilities in line with the NSB.
In September 1960, it was decided to rejuvenate the structure of CDNS by declaring the status of an Attached Department of the Ministry of Finance with the powers to formulate policies and execute various National Savings Schemes (NSS). These continuous advancements made it essential for the Government to reposition the CDNS as a Technical Department and conferring all powers of a Head of the Department to the Director General (DG) working in BPS-21.
The year 1972 came as a turning point in the long journey of National Savings whereby the organization was made responsible for all policy matters and execution of various NSS. However, the operations of National Savings before December 1971 were limited to publicity and promotion of the investment schemes it offered.
So far, CDNS has not only remained successful in promoting financial savings in the economy but has also generated requisite funds for the Government to finance the budgetary deficit and infrastructure projects. As a custodian of the nation’s savings, today the National Savings is the largest investment and financial institution in Pakistan with a portfolio of over Rs. 3.4 trillion and more than 7 million valued investors are being served through a large network of 376 branches nationwide controlled by 12 Regional Directorates of National Savings (RDNS) and 4 Zones.