Monday, April 15, 2019
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Govt refutes reports of Asad Umar's removal, major changes in cabinet

No minister is being replaced, says Fawad Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday denied reports regarding Asad Umar's removal as finance minister and any major changes in the federal cabinet and bureaucracy.

Reports have been doing the rounds claiming that the government has decided to remove Umar as finance minister and appoint him as the petroleum minister. However, PM House spokesperson and the information minister have refuted reports regarding any changes or replacement of ministers.

Sources in the government said, "There is no truth in reports on Umar's removal."

Asserting that there is "no truth in the reports regarding major changes in ministries", the PM House spokesperson said, "It is the prime minister's privilege to change any minister, however, at this time there is no truth in reports regarding replacing one or two ministers."

"The premier keep inquiring about the performance of ministers during federal cabinet meetings," he added.

Further, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also denied reports regarding a major reshuffle in the federal cabinet and bureaucracy.

Chaudhry tweeted, "There is no truth in reports regarding changes in posts of federal ministers. The prime minister has the power to change ministers and the media should play a responsible role on this subject."

"Pakistan is going through an important phase and such speculations create confusion which is not beneficial for the country," he added.

Speaking to the media, Chaudhry said, "No minister is being replaced. Prime Minister Imran Khan has sent a message that reports about changes in the ministries were incorrect."

"The reports on performance of ministers have been forwarded to the PM House," he stated and added that "ministers are on their posts because the prime minister is satisfied with them."

"The finance minister is returning after holding discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Asad Umar will brief on talks with IMF once he returns," he added. "In the next two days, big news is expected pertaining to the economy."

Chaudhry further said, "Pakistan is headed towards being a solid economy. Solid development is also emerging on the FATF matter."

Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul also denied reports of Umar's removal and said, "Asad Umar is not being replaced as finance minister. The 'news' peddled about him leaving is fake. Reporters must exhibit professionalism and not forward unverified news."

Sources in the Prime Minister Office said that reports have been received on the performance of ministers and will be presented during a federal cabinet meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

All ministries were given two weeks to prepare quarterly reports and they will all be given 30 minutes to present their performance reports during the federal cabinet meeting, sources said. "The premier will make decisions regarding changed and transfers after looking at the performance reports," they added.

Earlier today, sources said a major reshuffle is on the cards in the federal cabinet and bureaucracy.

It is expected that the posts and ministries of certain ministers will be changed as part of the reshuffle, sources said. "Major changes are expected in the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Board of Revenue," the sources said.

"A reshuffle is expected in the Ministry of Finance after talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conclude," they further said. "The head of FBR may be changed," the sources added.

A reshuffle is also expected in the Ministry of Petroleum.

Sources said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is also expected to appoint a minister of interior.

"It is further expected that the Punjab chief secretary might be changed as well," the sources continued.