Empowerment of SBP supported: Mian Zahid Hussain

Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday supported the decision of the government to empower the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) through legislation.

Limiting the government’s role will reduce political interference and it will be able to discharge its duty according to the mandate which will benefit the economy while controlling inflation, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government should consider the reservations of the stakeholders and try to introduce a proper accountability mechanism in the central bank.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that serious problems will crop up without the control of elected representatives on the activities of the bank as submitting an annual report in the parliament means nothing.

The government should consider forming a committee comprising politicians and independent economists with powers to judge and fire SBP chief if needed, he added.

SBP is a national institution and not a private business which should be out of control of every authority and it should be answerable to the parliament.

In case the proposed amendment becomes law, the government will be left with no option but to appoint weak persons violating merit which will cripple the institution, he remarked.

He noted that important economic institutions should be independent but with consensus, while it is a fact that hasty decisions result in remorse.

The decision to amend the SBP Act is also a decision taken in haste to revive IMF’s stalled programme which required thorough debate.

The issue requires a national debate while policies should not be short-term but should be framed for long-term benefits as firefighting will lead the economy to nowhere, he said.  

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