Senate Finally Passes Controversial SBP Amendment Bill

The Senate has officially passed the State Bank of Pakistan Amendment Bil in a session in Islamabad today.

The session was presided over by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and the bill was presented by the Minister for Finance, Shaukat Tarin, amid the ruckus in the house by the opposition members.

The opposition benches cast 43 votes during the session and the government members cast 44 votes.

Prior to the passage of the SBP bill, the vote count was tied at 43-43. The Senate Chairman cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of the amendment, which brought the total number of votes in favor of the bill’s approval to 44.

Economic analyst A. A. H. Soomro lauded the development on Twitter. He predicted that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would clear its Extended Fund Facility for Pakistan on 2 February. An influx of foreign currency from multilateral lenders will soon follow, he remarked.

Soomro said the credit spread is narrowing to more manageable levels, and the Pakistan Stock Exchange and currency are projected to rejoice.

The passage of the SBP Amendment Bill from the Upper House of the Parliament was necessary for the IMF to consider Pakistan’s Sixth Review and the delivery of a $1 billion tranche under the Extended Fund Facility.