Opposition on the SBP bill, mini-budget

PPP leader and former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf (left) and PML-N leader Khawaja Asif speak at a NA session in Islamabad on December 29, 2021. – YouTube
  • The opposition says the bills will add to the woes of the masses.
  • Opposition to unite against government legislation.
  • Rasheed says the bills will not have “dire consequences.”

ISLAMABAD: Opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly on Wednesday staged a heated protest against the government’s attempt to legislate on the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Amendment Bill and the Bill amendment to tax laws (fourth).

The federal cabinet on Tuesday approved the SBP bill, which proposes to cut government borrowing from the central bank, while the tax bill has been postponed.

PML-N leader Khawaja Asif, speaking at the NA session, called on the government to empathize and not legislate on the bills as they would have negative effects on the government. economy of the country.

“The [government] plans to relinquish the country’s financial autonomy through a mini-budget and state bank bill. I beg you not to give up the financial sovereignty of the country, “the lawmaker told the Treasury Banks.

For his part, the leader of the PPP and former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf asked the opposition benches to join hands and prevent the government from legislating on the bills.

“I heard that someone is considering tabling a mini-budget. It will increase the woes of people who are already under pressure from rising inflation, unemployment and the gas crisis,” he said he declared.

FM Qureshi responds

Responding to opposition MPs, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said it was crucial to analyze the factors behind Pakistan’s economic woes.

As FM Qureshi addressed the Lower House of Parliament, opposition lawmakers stressed that the quorum was incomplete. However, after Vice President Qasim Suri counted the members, they were sufficient to continue the session.

Continuing his speech, the Minister of Foreign Affairs assured the House that the government is responsible for the economic sovereignty of the country – and that it will take the necessary measures for it.

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Sheikh Rasheed has said that if the mini-budget is tabled in parliament on January 12 or 15, there won’t be dire consequences – it will run smoothly.

SBP invoice, mini-budget

The federal cabinet’s approval of the SBP amending bill is part of a prior action by the government to fulfill the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions ahead of the sixth review of the Fund’s Extended Facility by the Board of IMF administration.

The SBP amendment bill suggested extending the term of the SBP governor from three to five years, divided into two terms. However, it remains to be decided whether or not this will apply to the incumbent SBP governor.

Meanwhile, another bill, the Tax Law Amendments Bill (Fourth), which was due to be presented to Cabinet, was postponed. The main reason for the delay was resistance from the allies of the PTI-led regime who insisted that the government hand them over.

The government postponed the (fourth) tax bill amending bill, but two federal ministers confirmed to The News that the bill would be approved by the special cabinet committee within the next 48 hours, Wednesday or Thursday.

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