Saturday April 20, 2024

FinMin Aurangzeb set to chair ECC after reorganisation of body

PM Shehbaz had earlier decided to keep the key committee with himself

By Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
March 24, 2024
Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb. — HBL/File
Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb. — HBL/File

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb is set to lead the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) as the key body's chairman following its reorganisation by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday. 

The body, whose reshuffling has been notified, will comprise of ministers for finance, economic affairs, commerce, power, petroleum and planning, development and special initiatives.

Previously the premier was to head the ECC with the finance minister would only take his place in the wake of the prime minister's absence, The News reported on Saturday.

The prime minister on Saturday constituted six separate cabinet committees on economic coordination, energy, Chinese investment projects, privatisation, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and disposal of legislative cases in terms of Rule 17(2) of Rules of Business 1973.

According to the publication, the ECC will see whether fresh legislation or amendments to the existing laws are in line with the constitutional scheme, not in violation of any existing law, and fall within the mandate of parliament.

The body also includes the Planning Commission deputy chairman, State Bank of Pakistan governor, Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan chairman, Federal Board of Revenue chairman, Board of Investment chairman and federal secretaries for Power Division, Commerce Division, Communications Division, Finance Division, Industries and Production Division, Economic Affairs Division, Petroleum Division, Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Division, National Food Security & Research Division, Privatisation Division, Railways Division, Revenue Division, Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety Division and Water Resources Division.

ECC's reorganisation comes as Islamabad is seeking a longer and larger size of fresh bailout package under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and is expected to engage in negotiations with the Washington-based lender next month.

The country is expected to seek a fresh IMF bailout package of over $8 billion with the possibility of augmentation through climate finance on the occasion of upcoming spring meetings of Breton Wood Institutions, known as the IMF/World Bank, scheduled to be held in Washington, DC, from April 15 to 20.

A Pakistani delegation, led by Finance Minister Aurangzeb and comprising Finance Secretary Imdadullah Bosal, Secretary EAD Kazim Niaz and State Bank of Pakistan Governor Jamil Ahmed, will participate in the meetings.