*IMF DEMANDS ACT IS A NEW VERSION OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY, REHMAN MALIK*
Islamabad : Pakistan will lose power to decide its fiscal if the act is passed by Parliament.
Both government, opposition should formulate a workable strategy to get rid of the IMF
Chairman Institute of Research and Reforms (IRR) Senator A. Rehman Malik has expressed concern that if Parliament passes the International Monetary Funds (IMF) Demands Act, Pakistan will partially lose the power to decide its fiscal. He said that Pakistan is going to hand over its sovereignty and the future of its generations to IMF by accepting its demands and that just for $1 billion, which Pakistan could generate from its resources. He termed the Act as a new version of the East India Company saying that this Act will cripple Pakistan by snatching its powers to act as a sovereign state. He said that this law even prohibits criticizing or questioning the Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for his actions, which means an utter violation of the freedom of speech since per the proposed amendment, immunity has been granted to the sitting SBP management including Board of Directors, Governor, Deputy Governors, a member of any Board committee and monetary policy committee and the staff of the Bank for any act or performance of any functions or any legislation administered by the Bank.
Rehman Malik said that even then the demands of IMF will not stop as IMF has an agenda of crippling Pakistan’s economy and driving Pakistan towards international demands. He said that every Pakistani is bound to suffer because of this mini IMF budget therefore the parliament, opposition and the government should come up with a solution to get rid of IMF with a collective doable debt retirement programme. The nation sees a “dangal” in the parliament instead of a decent approach to handle national issues requiring the indulgence of Parliament, he added.
The Former Interior Minister said that in the proposed amendments, objectives of SBP have been specified for price maintenance and financial stability while the government has justified this autonomy as a way to maintain price, there has yet been no mention of the inflation targets or price stability despite revising the act. But, in what capacity can the State Bank control inflation, he questioned. He highlighted that the government can pay salaries by printing currency, whereas, restricting printing currency or loans to our foreign debt-ridden country will come under heavy pressure and we will be forced to beg for more loans. He said that the government will not be able to borrow from SBP under any circumstances, which will badly affect the financial needs of the government and the national exchequer and this will create hardships for the government, pushing us to bankruptcy. There will be no check or deterrence on wrongdoings or criminal mismanagement or any criminal negligence by the employees of SBP, he added.
Rehman Malik who is Chairman a Think Tank, IRR further said that the entire business community is showing serious objections and reservations on the proposed amendments as the SBP will now not finance any rural credit, industrial credit, export credit, loans guarantee, and housing credit which means that these sectors will get into trouble and mafias with cash will flourish at the cost of the common man and the small business community. He said that the proposed amendments have posed a serious threat to the sovereignty of Pakistan as the independent State Bank will be omitted from the State domain and it will be the State under obligation to become the subordinate of the State Bank. An independent SBP will be dictating all our institutional decisions and state secrets and operations in the national interest will be directly subject to security risk and the IMF, he expressed.
Rehman Malik said that a glance at the draft act shows that it is not drafted by us but rather dictated by the agents of the IMF and the draft bill was shared with the IMF before placing it before the Parliament for discussion and adoption. He concluded that our country cannot afford this level of immunity to such a critical institution as it will be detrimental to our economy as well as the sovereignty of our country.