SBP Amendment Bill: Fawad gloats over opposition ‘defeat’ in Senate

Published January 29, 2022
Information Minister  Fawad Chaudhry speaks to the media in Lahore on Friday. — PID
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry speaks to the media in Lahore on Friday. — PID

LAHORE: Jubilant over Senate’s approval of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Amendment Bill to meet the IMF package conditions, Federal Information and Broadcast Minister Fawad Chaudhry says the joint opposition has again tasted defeat in the upper house where it carried “so-called majority”.

Mr Chaudhry in a satirical tone thanked the PPP and opposition leader in Senate Yousaf Raza Gilani for indirectly supporting the government in the passage of the SBP Amendment Bill.

Mr Gilani on Friday did not appear in the Senate to vote in the all-important session, wherein the SBP Amendment Bill was tabled for voting.

The information minister said humiliating defeat in the Senate had also crushed opposition’s dreams of bringing a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly. He said the joint opposition had been battered to such an extent that it was unable to do things that were in its control including blocking the SBP bill in the Senate with on-paper majority.

Mr Chaudhry said the SBP Amendment would lead to the constitution of the SBP Board of Directors to serve as a strong institution that would shun political pressures and play its due role in the strengthening country’s economy. He said the IMF package would strengthen country’s economy through better credit ratings and stable rupee.

The other institutions in deals with the Pakistan government would also feel strengthened, he added.

Referring to the Lahore High Court judgement on the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project (RRUDP), the information minister said it was government’s right to establish new cities and the government would assert for its right. “Whenever courts acted beyond their mandate and intervened in the policy decisions, it did not serve anyone,” Mr Chaudhry said and quoted the examples of Reko Diq and Pakistan Steel Mills cases. He also said the Punjab government had filed appeal with the Supreme Court against the LHC decision.

Answering a question, the information minister said former premier Nawaz Sharif was not coming to Pakistan by himself but was brought back by the government. He said the British courts had rejected Mr Sharif’s both appeals.

“Since the PML-N leaders know that the British courts would no more support Mr Sharif’s stay in London any longer, they are talking about his return,” he said.

Answering another question, he said the PML-N leaders would now bring no-confidence against Nawaz Sharif and added that it would be a great service to the nation.

He brushed aside any confrontation with the PTI ally PML-Q and added that certain issue do surface but they get resolved immediately.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2022

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