The upper house of the Parliament on Friday passed the controversial State Bank Pakistan SBP Bill 2021, amidst protests from the Opposition benches.
On January 13, the National Assembly passed the SBP autonomy bill along with the supplementary finance bill. Both these bills were a requirement by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.
The approval of the State Bank amendment bill was necessary to ensure Pakistan’s sixth review of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFE) gets cleared by the IMF’s Executive Board. Which is scheduled to meet on February 2 to decide the disbursement of the $1-billion tranche.
When Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin tabled a motion seeking permission to introduce the SBP bill, the opposition members objected to it. A motion was put forth to vote through division and was carried by 44 against 43 votes, marking the first blow to the opposition in the day.
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The bill was passed by a majority vote as the opposition kept on expressing its reservations.
The Senate session has been adjourned till Monday 3pm.
Who was absent today?
During the session, 12 members were absent, including eight members of the Opposition. Two of the government and two from independent candidate Dilawar Khan’s group.
PPP’s Yousuf Raza Gillani, Qasim Ranjho and Sikandar Mendro did not attend the session.
However, Among Opposition members, Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party’s Shafiq Tareen and Naseema Ehsan did not attend the meeting.
Meanwhile, JUI’s Talha Mahmood and Hidayatullah and Hilal-ur-Rehman. Two of the six members of the Dilawar Khan group, were absent from the meeting.
Therefore, Among the government allies, Senator Faisal Sabzwari and Khalida Ateeb of MQM were absent from the meeting.