Former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Dr Ishrat Hussain expressed reservations over the bill granting autonomy to the central bank.
Federal Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin presented the SBP Amendment Bill with the supplementary finance bill in the NA, as a pre-requisite to resume the $6 billion External Fund Facility (EFF) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Speaking at program Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath, Dr Hussain said that the monetary and fiscal board shouldn’t have been dissolved.
“There is a dire need that both of the country’s policies are kept in the same direction,” he said.
Hussain said that the government should not constantly borrow a huge amount of money from commercial banks.
He said that the IMF should also have counseled the government that prioritizing price stability over economic growth to this extent, would not be a healthy option.
Opposition protests bill
The Opposition in the NA had staged a vehement protest and chanted slogans to prevent Shaukat Tarin from introducing the bills.
PPP’s Naveed Qamar protested the government’s move to extend ordinances, saying that “they have expired, so how can they be extended?”
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan responded by saying that the government had introduced the ordinances in Parliament prior to their expiry.
At one point in the session, PPP’s Shazia Marri objected to the strength of lawmakers in Parliament. At this, the speaker instructed all MNAs to stand at their seats for a headcount.
‘Don’t sell Pakistan’
Speaking on the occasion, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif said the sovereignty of Pakistan is being sold. “The nation is ashamed of what is happening in the House today,” he added.
He further said that the PTI-led government is trying to “enslave Pakistanis financially.”
“You’re giving the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) control to IMF. Please don’t surrender Pakistan’s sovereignty,” he reiterated.
Highlighting the promises made by the PTI leaders, he said that the government has been lying to the people for the last three years and recent local body elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are proof of this.
The PML-N stalwart lamented over the government “increasing the prices of everyday items”.