Govt Withdraws Immunity of Governor SBP

The federal government has shared the revised draft of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Amendment Bill 2021 with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a national daily has reported.

According to details, the immunity granted to the Governor SBP and senior officials of the central bank previously has been withdrawn in the revised SBP Amendment Bill 2021.

The previous draft of the SBP Amendment Bill 2021 had proposed to give protection to the SBP’s members of Board of Directors, Governor, Deputy Governors, members of any committee, officers, and all other employees of the Bank against legal action for any act done in exercise of their official powers.

It had also proposed to pay compensation to the above-mentioned officials, officers, and employees in case of any ongoing legal action against them till its final decision.

NAB, FIA, and other similar government organizations were also barred from taking action against these officials without seeking prior permission from the BoDs of the SBP.

However, all these exemptions along with several other similar exemptions have been withdrawn in the revised SBP Amendment Bill 2021 and its draft has been shared with the IMF.

Besides, the government is also making efforts to convince the IMF to promulgate Tax Exemptions Amendment Bill 2021 through a Presidential Ordinance. However, the IMF is insisting the government to get the assent of the parliament before signing the bill into law.

If the government doesn’t present the bill in the parliament, the IMF is expected to impose a condition to table the Tax Exemptions Amendment Bill 2021 through the parliament before January 2022.

It is because the IMF’s Executive Board is set to meet in the second week of January next year to approve a loan worth $500 million under the sixth review of Extended Fund Facility (EEF).