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Opinion Print 2021-04-20

PARTLY FACETIOUS: Tarin all praise for Baqir

“Shaukat Tarin says that the other half of the previous two-member economic team
Published April 20, 2021

“Shaukat Tarin says that the other half of the previous two-member economic team that signed the harsh International Monetary Fund programme will remain at his post.”

“Hmmm, you mean Reza Baqir as Governor State Bank… but why did Tarin feel the need to say this, I mean the governor’s constitutional tenure is not over yet – one year and the days up to 6 May when he was appointed in 2018 remain and no one can actually remove him… that is if the SBP amended Act is not passed in which case he has another three years to go…and then a possible extension… “

“How many Governors have been shown the door irrespective of this constitutional protection?”

“Did even one governor who left before his tenure was completed admit that he was told to leave? They all had personal issues…”

“May I recommend the SBP hires a full time psychiatrist to ensure…”

“Don’t be facetious.”

“I personally am not in favour of the Ministry of Finance’s control over the State Bank’s monetary policy, federal finance minister after federal finance minister - be he an economist, accountant or party loyalist with no background in the subject have abused this control - tacit or otherwise – to implement flawed policies and…”

“But what if the SBP engages in flawed policies – I mean linking the discount rate to consumer price index even though it has components that are not susceptible to discount rate manipulation and depreciating a rupee like it’s on fire without deigning to present research supporting the changes …”

“And there is a research department at the SBP headed by another former IMF employee who resigned to join the SBP and…”

“Not relevant - as long as what they do or don’t do is in good faith, the FIA and NAB won’t be able to touch them once the amended bill is passed by parliament…but for your information the incumbent Governor has taken note of criticism and learnt valuable lessons – in the latest monetary policy statement core inflation instead of CPI is mentioned and the exchange rate has strengthened recently and…”

“That’s more than one can say about our politicians’ capacity to learn lessons but the damage already done in 2018-19 pre pandemic from which we are still struggling to emerge….”

“Excuse me, but we have a phrase in Urdu - dayr ayad durust ayad (better late than never) and in the last monetary policy statement there was a reference to core inflation and the rupee has been strengthening…”

“So the writ of the state has been established, hunh?”

“Who says the writ of the state was ever compromised in naya Pakistan?”

“From an agreement to banning an outfit to again negotiating…”

“A written agreement is not hadith as Zardari sahib wisely said.”

“Indeed – I guess that what the naya Pakistan learnt from the old Pakistan.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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