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ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Tuesday decided to make the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) accountable before the Parliament besides also raising the tenure of its governor to five years, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said.

Addressing a presser along with Dr. Ishrat Hussain and Hammad Azhar, the finance minister said that they had made certain decisions and approve laws, one of which pertains to the state bank.

“The rules will make the SBP more independent, allowing it to take independent decisions in overcoming inflation besides also eliminating legal ways for the government to obtain loans from the central bank,” he said.

Hafeez Shaikh said that they have also decided to increase the tenure of the SBP governor to 5 years. “Through enacting the three new laws, the government will set a strong foundation for the economy and strengthen the financial institutions,” he said.

The minister said that they have decided to minimize the role of ministries in government-owned institutions and companies doing business and rather a board would be formed to deal with it.

“The business-related institutes will be under the domain of the government from now on rather than a ministry and the chairman of their boards will now be appointed by the government,” he said adding that the CEOs of these institutions would be appointed by the boards.

“The companies will not fall under PPRA rules and professionals will be appointed to run their affairs and would not be replaced frequently,” Shaikh said while shedding light on the new policy.

He further said that a law to minimize taxes will also be introduced and will help in broadening the tax base and generating more revenue. “Relief in income tax for certain sectors will also be abolished,” he said adding that all sectors would have a uniform tax policy.

Further speaking on the privatization process, Hafeez Shaikh said that the process would have been expedited if the COVID-19 pandemic had not affected the global economy.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Ishrat Hussain said that no one knew how many government institutions were working in the country and after a survey conducted by them, it emerged that the number of such institutions stands at 441. “We will have a performance agreement with these institutions,” he said.

Dr. Ishrat said that they have appointed 56 chief executives in various organizations so far and the best person at the best place will strengthen these institutions. NNI