Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has chosen his main advisors and members of the country’s billionaire club as members of the Economic Advisory Council intended to change the economic direction and put an end to protectionist policies – an objective that makes several new members of the body uncomfortable with.
According to a notification issued by the Finance Ministry, the 22-member body with the representation of the government and the private sector also comprise at least three members of former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Economic Advisory Council.
The prime minister will lead the EAC, which is initially scheduled to be held every week. Some of the members are former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, former finance minister Saleem Mandviwalla, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Petroleum Mussadiq Malik, and Minister of State for Finance Ayesha Ghous Pasha.
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Besides, Pakistani billionaires have also been a part of the EAC. Among the leading members is Mohammad Ali Tabba –the owner of the Lucky Cement. He has also served in the Imran Khan’s EAC. Others include one of the richest men, Mian Mohammad Mansha, and his nephew Shahzad Salim.
In addition, Arif Habib, another billionaire entrepreneur has also been made a part of Shehbaz Sharif’s Economic Advisory Council. Ijaz Nabi, a well-known economist, has attained the seat in the new EAC. Nabi was also a part of the last government’s economic advisory bodies and was among persons who supported decreasing fuel prices, which ultimately led to the derailment of the IMF programme.
Former petroleum minister Dr. Asim Hussain, Former FBR chairman Tariq Pasha, banker Atif Bajwa, Faisal Farid – Maxim International Limited; HBL President Aurangzeb Khan, senior partner of advisory firm McKinney and Company Salman Ahmed, Fauji Foundation Managing Director Waqar Ahmad Malik, Chairman of the Interloop Group Musadaq Zulqarnain, and Fatima Group’s Rahman Naseem and other are members of the EAC.
The notification further says that the Economic Advisory Council will review and evaluate the overall economic condition of the country and suggest possible corrective methods after considering the available resources of the country.