On Friday, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Amendment Bill 2021 was passed by the Senate. Opposition benches strongly opposed the bill and protested upon approval.
The upper house passed the bill with 43 members voting in favour with 42 opposing it. The Amendment Bill restricts the government from borrowing money from State Bank, providing the central bank complete autonomy.
The opposition claimed that the bill paves the way for private banks owned by elites as the government can now borrow money from them at market rate. The opposition parties have been protesting against the bill, saying that it compromises the economic sovereignty of the country.
The approval of the Amendment was one of the conditions for the sixth review of International Monetary Funds (IMF) extended fund facility (EFF). The meeting will now be held as scheduled previously on January 28. The government has already gotten the approval for Finance Supplementary Act 2021 (mini-budget).