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Saturday December 04, 2021

Shaukat Tarin’s tenure as finance minister ends today

October 16, 2021
Shaukat Tarin’s tenure as finance minister ends today

ISLAMABAD: The government has been unable to elect Shaukat Tarin as a Member of the Parliament within the stipulated time-frame of six months, which is going to expire today (Saturday). Now there is no other option but to appoint Tarin as Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue.

The portfolio of finance minister will fall vacant today, so there are two options i.e. either to appoint someone elected as stop-gap arrangement or this portfolio rests with Prime Minister Imran Khan for the time being.

When contacted, one member of the federal cabinet in background discussions told this scribe that the PM might chair the ECC meetings or there was a precedent that when one member of the ECC was unable to attend the meeting and he could not be connected through zoom, so he gave his consent for holding the meeting and for taking decisions. So the PM could allow to hold the meeting and then ratify the decisions during the cabinet meetings.

With approval of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the government will have to issue a notification to this effect for appointing Shaukat Tarin as Adviser to PM on Finance as stop-gap arrangement.

The government had already announced that Tarin would be elected as senator but so far none of the senators had tendered resignation from any part of the country to vacate a seat for him. Even incumbent senators belonging to Punjab and KP argued in background discussions that no one had talked to them for tendering resignations, so PM would have to come up with a clear-cut strategy by nominating incumbent senator to vacate his or her seat, paving the way for election of Tarin to become a member of the Upper House of Parliament.

The government had to face a severe political blow when PTI’s candidate from the federal capital Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh faced defeat against PPP candidate Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani.

With appointment of Adviser to PM on Finance and Revenues, Shaukat Tarin will not be able to chair any cabinet committee meeting such as the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC), Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCOP) and others.

It is not known how much time Shaukat Tarin will have to perform as Adviser to PM on Finance because certainly his powers would be reduced under the new arrangements.