ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Friday passed the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill 2021 amid an outcry from the opposition on suffering back-to-back defeats in the House, where it otherwise enjoys a dominating numerical strength.
When Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin tabled a motion seeking permission to introduce the SBP bill, the opposition members objected to it. A motion was put forth to vote through division and was carried by 44 against 43 votes, marking the first blow to the opposition in the day.
The bill was passed by a majority vote as the opposition kept on expressing its reservations.
On January 13, the National Assembly passed the SBP autonomy bill along with the supplementary finance bill — both these bills were a requirement by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program.
The approval of the State Bank amendment bill was necessary to ensure Pakistan’s sixth review of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFE) gets cleared by the IMF’s Executive Board which is scheduled to meet on February 2 to decide the disbursement of the $1-billion tranche.
Sherry Rehman lambasts govt
Earlier, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman via Twitter lashed out at the PTI-led government for stripping the country of its autonomy to make decisions by trying to bulldoze the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill 2021.
In a series of tweets, Rehman took exception to the issuance of the agenda for today’s meeting of the Senate.
A midnight agenda for the Senate’s short Friday session says it all. Govt wants to tell the IMF the parliament passed it but let’s be clear: the entire opposition is against the PTI’s stripping of Pakistan’s own ability to make sovereign decisions in times of national crises. pic.twitter.com/G9N5ALFcRW— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) January 28, 2022