Senate postpones hearing of SBP amendment bill, citing Covid

The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue that was due to hear the SBP amendment bill was postponed on Thursday, due to Covid 19 pandemic.

According to documents, the meeting of the committee scheduled to be held on January 27, 2022 was postponed due to the fifth wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

The meeting was supposed to discuss the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) amendment bill as the Senate chairman had referred the bill to the committee for consideration.

The government apparently is in a tough situation as the economic team has failed to approve the SBP amendment bill from the upper house of Parliament which is a major condition of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Earlier, the IMF on the request of the finance minister postponed the sixth review on January 12, 2022 and now the IMF board would take up Pakistan’s case on February 2, 2022 instead of January 28, 2022.

Earlier on Wednesday the finance minister had requested the IMF to postpone Pakistan’s sixth review as the SBP amendment Bill is yet to be approved by the Senate.

The IMF has directed Pakistan to get the SBP amendment Bill approved from Parliament for completing the sixth review under the Extended Fund Facility program. 

According to reports, the IMF will not release the next $1 billion tranche if Pakistan fails to get the SBP amendment Bill approved by the Parliament in due time.

Now, the meeting of the Senate will take place on February 2, 2022, which is the same day when the IMF is supposed to meet for Pakistan’s sixth review.


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