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Friday June 21, 2024

Kakar for continuity of economic policies, wooing foreign investment

Chairing a meeting on economy, the caretaker PM maintains his govt would utilise energies mainly on reforming economy

By Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai & Muhammad Anis
August 16, 2023
In this photograph taken on August 14, 2023, shows Pakistans newly appointed caretaker PM, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar (c) while being presented with a guard of honor at the Presidents House in Islamabad. — PID
In this photograph taken on August 14, 2023, shows Pakistan's newly appointed caretaker PM, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar (c) while being presented with a guard of honor at the President's House in Islamabad. — PID

ISLAMABAD: The Caretaker Prime Minister, Anwarul Haq Kakar, on Tuesday announced the continuation of economic policies and projects aimed at the welfare of people across the board. He also stressed further enhancement of foreign investment under the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) as among the top priorities of the caretaker setup.

Chairing a meeting on the country’s economy on Tuesday, the caretaker premier maintained that his government would utilize its energies mainly on reforming the national economy. “For this purpose, we will give priority to the policy of ‘responsible autonomy’ and ‘deregulation’,” the prime minister said. The interim PM announced to continue public welfare projects uninterrupted and directed that international standard facilities should be ensured in the health and education sectors.

Secretary Finance, Government State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), secretary power and other senior officials attended the meeting.

The caretaker prime minister was given a detailed briefing and was apprised of measures and policy being followed for reforms in economic and power sectors.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar said that further enhancement of foreign investment under the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was among the top priorities of the caretaker setup.

He directed officials for taking strict measures to increase tax collection and implementation of reforms in the power sector. He was also given a separate briefing on projects being undertaken by the National Highways Authority. Kakar pointed out that there was a need to pay more attention to road infrastructure where foreign investment was expected. He also took an interest in road projects in Balochistan province and directed the NHA to start work on the reconstruction of Karachi-Chaman Highway with out of the box approach for early start and completion of the project.

Sources had told Geo News earlier Tuesday that Kakar had sped up the consultation for the formation of cabinet.

They added that the interim PM has decided to form a small cabinet and personally review the profiles of all possible candidates.

“I don’t want to put more burden on the country suffering from economic problems,” sources quoted the caretaker prime minister telling his friends. The sources also said that the names of caretaker ministers under consideration include former foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, former civil servant Shoaib Suddle, former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Ahsan Bhoon, former senator Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, and former police IG and acclaimed columnist Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema.

Moreover, former information minister Muhammad Ali Durrani is likely to be given the portfolio of Ministry of Information, the sources said.

Kakar directed to keep his protocol to a minimum, adding that he did not want to incur unnecessary expenses nor make people suffer, they said. In a related development, on the demand of students aspiring to secure admissions in medical colleges, the caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar has directed authorities concerned to extend the date of MDCAT examination to September 10.“The prime minister has directed for the conduct of MDCAT on September 10 instead of August 27,” the Prime Minister’s Office said Tuesday. Following the directions of the caretaker prime minister, the students would now get more time to prepare for MDCAT. On directives of the prime minister, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council has also issued a notification for rescheduling the MDCAT examination on September 10 across the country.