Islamabad, April 21 (IANS) Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday reiterated concerns over the autonomy granted to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) during the earlier PTI-led government’s tenure, Geo News reported.
In the wake of the previous government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for reviving its $6 billion loan, it had committed to granting autonomous status to the central bank.
For this purpose, the SBP Act, 1956 was amended through the SBP (Amendment) Act, 2021, for enhanced central bank autonomy, price stability, and accountability.
But Asif, during an interview with Geo News’ programme ‘Capital Talk’, said he still believes the laws that the previous government amended to meet the IMF’s conditions were still wrong and needed to be reserved.
The minister said that former Prime Minister Imran Khan had “sold out” Pakistan’s economic sovereignty to the United States, as Washington has the most shares in the IMF, Geo News reported.
“IMF is an institution in which America has a lot of stakes as it is the largest shareholder. Imran Khan sold out our economic sovereignty to them as he handed over our central bank — our bank of the last resort — to the IMF,” he said.
The Defence Minister said the coalition government would reverse the move and reestablish Pakistan’s economic sovereignty, but noted that the central bank would be given independence when it comes to the monetary policy.