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‘SBP bill is a direct threat to Pakistan’s sovereignty and national security’: PPP

  • Senator Sherry Rehman says the PTI government has refused to follow democratic norms and turned the Parliament into a circus
Updated 29 Jan, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman Friday said that the PTI government has refused to follow democratic norms and turned the Parliament into a circus by bulldozing the SBP Amendment Bill, 2021, using condemnable tactics.

Talking to media, Sherry said, “Today marks a black day in Pakistan’s history, as The SBP Amendment Bill was bulldozed in the Senate today despite the vehement protests from the joint opposition. The PTI government has refused to follow democratic norms and has turned the Parliament into a circus by bulldozing a bill using condemnable tactics that had not been witnessed in Pakistan’s history until today and have disparaged parliamentary tradition.”

She continued on to say, “They had to call for votes twice as they had failed to get enough numbers to pass the bill at the first attempt. They adjourned the meeting and in a categorically reprehensible move, the government asked members currently suffering from Covid-19 to come out, whilst being oxygenated, to get enough numbers to bulldoze the bill through. Alongside completely disregarding parliamentary norms, this government gave the exact same regard to the Covid-19 SOPs to push their catastrophic agenda forward.”

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She said, “This [SBP] bill is a direct threat to Pakistan’s sovereignty and national security; it will ensure that the lender of last resort is unable to take Pakistan out of any future crisis. Central banks are autonomous only to the extent they make monetary policy. It seems PTI has borrowed so much in its three and a half years term that commercial banks will become the only lenders.

What will happen to the SBP, lender of last resort when crisis looms? What will happen to the government’s ability to put down sovereign guarantees in big projects? These are listed as contingent liabilities, which is debt, so the IMF can now overrule even these. Such terms are unheard of and totally rejected by the joint opposition.”

The PPP leader said that the government has no plan or pathway to ensure a safe passage outside of the perilous hole of debt they have put this country in.

She said that Pakistan’s current public debt stands at a whopping Rs50.5 trillion and the PTI cronies have failed to reduce spending and continue to indulge in their lavish lifestyles at the detriment of the hard-working taxpayers and the ballooning public debt.

“Why has the government not shut down the helicopter from Bani Gala and reduced expenses?” she asked.

She concluded by saying, “We only received the agenda of the Senate meeting after midnight: another card out of the deck of cowardly politics that this government continuously utilizes. After three and a half years of disastrous economic policies that have brought the country to its knees, the government has now bulldozed a Black bill in Pakistan through the means of undemocratic tactics. The opposition condemns any bill that seeks to sell Pakistan’s sovereignty off to the IMF.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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