State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) building. — AFP

As the country prepares to welcome the holy month of fasting, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday notified the bank holiday across the country on 1st Ramadan, which is likely to fall on Tuesday (March 12). 

“The State Bank of Pakistan will remain closed for public dealing on 1st Ramadan-ul-Mubarak, 1445 AH, which shall be observed as ‘Bank Holiday’ for the purpose of deduction of Zakat,” the central bank stated in a notification for the holiday.

As per the notification, all banks/development financial institutions (DFIs)/microfinance banks (MFBs) will remain closed for public dealing on the aforementioned date.

However, all employees of the banks, DFIs and MFBs will attend the office on bank holiday treating it as a normal working day.

Ramadan moon sighting

As the country prepares for the holy month of Ramadan, the blessed period is likely to commence on March 12 in Pakistan.

As per weather expert Jawad Memon, though the moon for the month of Ramadan will be born on March 10, it will not be visible at the time and can only be seen via the naked eye by March 11.

“First Taraweeh will be observed on the night of March 11 [whereas] its 95% probable that the first fast will be on March 12,” he added.

As per tradition, the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee would convene in Islamabad — with zonal committees meeting in their respective domains — to receive and assess moon sighting reports and announce the sighting of the moon.

The holy month, which is observed with religious fervour and zeal, will see millions of Pakistanis along with billions of Muslims around the world observing fast from dawn till sunset with the fasting hours falling between 12 to 17 hours — depending on the geographical locations across the globe.

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