SBP cannot be given a “Blank Cheque” in the name of reforms

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Karachi:   ICCI former President Shahid Rasheed Butt on Monday said proposed autonomy of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) would hit the initiatives taken for economic recovery amid pandemic.
Almost all the countries have adopted policies against the IMF agenda to revive economic activities and improve employment which is badly hit by the coronavirus, he said.
Adopting IMF policies at this critical juncture will make economic recovery difficult and hit poor, the favourite target of the lender, he added.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said that SBP cannot be given a “Blank Cheque” in the guise of reforms and ending political interference as it is against the national interests.
He said that SBP will not be answerable to anyone in the proposed amendment which will set it free to abide by the IMF dictation discounting the national interests.
Critical decision cannot be left to the bureaucrats and technocrats to please the lenders, as they are not concerned about the welfare of poor and mediocre, as it will stoke poverty and unrest among the masses.
Empowered SBP will make it difficult for the government to finance projects important for health, education, clean drinking water and job creation, he said, adding that empowerment of Planning Commission and FBR is more important than granting unchallengeable powers to the central bank.
Government should take steps to reduce political interference in the Planning Commission and FBR and introduce reforms aimed at enhanced transparency, he demanded.