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Fresh legislation to depoliticise central bank, says Hammad Azhar

Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar. Screengrab from PTV

ISLAMABAD: Regarding the recently passed bill envisaging autonomy for the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar on Saturday said the fresh legislation would free the SBP from politicised decisions.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, Azhar rejected the impression that it would risk national security.

He pointed out that the governor, deputy governor and Board of Directors of the central bank would be appointed by the government.

Read more: Legislations on SBP autonomy to be reversed in future, predicts Abbasi

He said all the political parties talked about the autonomy of the central bank in the past. He said the government-controlled assets of the SBP. All the SBP’s assets would be owned by the masses, he added.

The minister also said the government implemented the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s 26 conditions in a short time.

The government had introduced historic reforms in different sectors including energy to take forward the country, he said.

“This process of reforms will continue in the months and years ahead to ensure sustainable development.”

Azhar said that the tax collection and exports were increasing as a result of the better policies.

The government had set the target to collect Rs6,000 billion in taxes during the current fiscal year whilst the country’s exports and remittances each would touch $30 billion, he added.

The minister continued that the government was focusing on improving the electricity transmission system.

Read more: Legislation on mini-budget, SBP continues to echo in National Assembly

“About 70 to 80 per cent electricity will be produced from indigenous resources by 2030. We have started work on construction of 10 dams in this regard.”

He pointed out that Pakistan’s gas reserves were depleting and we had to look for various options to meet the domestic requirements.

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