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Wednesday July 06, 2022

SBP autonomy bill like ‘handing over sovereignty to IMF, WB’: PML-N

Zubair says after the bill, the SBP will be obliged to provide all kinds of information regarding the economy to the IMF, World Bank, and other external financial institutions

March 25, 2021

KARACHI: Criticising the federal government’s decision to give absolute autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan, the PML-N’s central leader Mohammad Zubair said the proposed bill will hand over country’s sovereignty to the IMF and the World Bank.

Zubair, who is also former governor Sindh and currently serving as PML-N’s central vice-president said the proposed legislation is proof of disloyalty of the rulers with the country. He was addressing a press conference Wednesday at the Muslim League House in Karachi. PML-N Sindh Secretary Information Kh Tariq Nazeer accompanied him. Zubair said with the passage of the proposed bill, the parliament and the finance minister will lose control of the affairs of the country’s central bank and the governor SBP will take over as the bank’s viceroy. He said once proposed legislation passes; the government will not be responsible for inflation and will not be able to question the SBP.

“Currently, the monitoring policy is decided by the State Bank but its board also includes government secretaries. After the passage of the bill, the SBP should only inform parliament about its decision and policies,” he added.

He also said after the bill, the SBP will be obliged to provide all kinds of information regarding the economy to the IMF, World Bank, and other external financial institutions. To date, the IMF has not passed such a law in any country.

“Even Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, and the countries of the African continent do not have such a law,” he said. Zubair said after losing the Senate election, current finance minister Hafeez Shaikh is worried about his job in Washington. “Weak finance minister has no love for Pakistan. He will leave the country on the day the flag is lower,” he said.

If the finance minister had any love for Pakistan, he would not have come to the country after 1977 only after becoming a minister, he said. The PML-N leader said Reza Baqir’s job is with the IMF, not actually with the SBP. “No one will be able to fire him from his job because of it,” he added.

Zubair said issues within the ranks of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) have their place but it is our responsibility to expose the mistakes of the government. Talking about the upcoming by-polls in NA-249 Karachi, Zubair said the PML-N has sought support from the PPP and other component parties of the PDM. “If the election had not been rigged in the 2018 general polls, Shahbaz Sharif would have won the NA-249 seat by a landslide margin,” he further added. “We, therefore, wish success in this by-election to expose the fact that the 2018 election was rigged,” said PML-N leader.

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