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Thursday June 13, 2024

PM forms new economic advisory council without Dar, Aurangzeb

PM Shehbaz has constituted an eight-member high-powered Economic Advisory Council (EAC) under his leadership

By Mehtab Haider
May 19, 2024
PM Shehbaz Sharif pictured alongside FM and Deputy PM Ishaq Dar at  a press conference in Islamabad. — PID/File
PM Shehbaz Sharif pictured alongside FM and Deputy PM Ishaq Dar at  a press conference in Islamabad. — PID/File

ISLAMABAD: Just ahead of the upcoming budget for 2024-25, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has constituted an eight-member high-powered Economic Advisory Council (EAC) under his leadership.

Interestingly, Minister for Finance and Revenue Mohammad Aurangzeb has been excluded from this EAC. Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar is also not included. The EAC comprises renowned business tycoons, technocrats and economists, including business tycoon and politician Jehangir Khan Tareen, Sauqib H Sherazi, Shahzad Saleem, Musadaq Zulqurnain, Dr. Ijaz Nabi, Asif Peer, Zaid Bashir, and Salman Ahmed. The EAC will be chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who will convene its meetings as required.

With the budget for 2024-25 expected to be unveiled within the first 10 days of June 2024, the government plans to consult these business tycoons and technocrat economists to get their feedback and incorporate any concrete proposals into the upcoming budget. In the past, such EAC-like forums have often been just debating clubs where many businessmen and experts were accommodated, using the platform to establish their PR with high-ups in the Ministry of Finance, Commerce and FBR. It remains to be seen how this newly established EAC will be different and contribute valuable proposals to the budget-making process. The focus will be on providing solid recommendations on how to kick-start sluggish economic activities and boost growth amid the IMF’s tight fiscal and monetary policy prescriptions for the coming years.