PM includes Jahangir Tareen in economic advisory body, leaves out Dar, Aurangzeb

Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to advise govt on economic activities and growth ahead of budget 2024-25

Mehtab Haider
(From left to right) Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, Deputy PM Ishaq Dar and IPP founder and business tycoon Jahangir Tareen. —Ministry of Finance/APP/Facebook/Jahangir Khan Tareen/File
  • PM Shehbaz to head 8-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC).
  • Govt aims to consult business bigwigs, technocrats before budget.
  • Forum to provide recommendations on growth, economic activities.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has left out his deputy Ishaq Dar and Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb while accommodating Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) founder Jahangir Tareen in newly formed eight-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC), The News reported on Sunday.

Formed weeks ahead of the 2024-25 budget, the body which includes various business tycoons and technocrats will advise the PM on key economic issues.

The exclusion of Dar and Aurangzeb, who chair the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCOP) and the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), respectively, is rather intriguing, to say the least as both bodies hold key significance in the execution of the government's economic and financial agenda.

The EAC, which will be headed by the PM himself, also includes Sauqib H Sherazi, Shahzad Saleem, Musadaq Zulqurnain, Dr Ijaz Nabi, Asif Peer, Zaid Bashir, and Salman Ahmed.  

With the budget 2024-25 expected to be revealed in the first 10 days of June, the formation of the advisory council reflects PM Shehbaz-led government's intention to consult these business tycoons and technocrat economists to get their feedback and incorporate any concrete proposals into the upcoming budget.

It'll be worth seeing whether the EAC will be any different from the previous similar forums — which have often been nothing more than debating clubs with its members using the platform to cosy up with high-ups in the Ministry of Finance, Commerce and the Federal Bureau of Revenue — and in fact, contributes towards the budget making process.

The publication adds that forum will focus on providing solid recommendations on how to kick-start sluggish economic activities and boost growth amid the International Monetary Fund's tight fiscal and monetary policy prescriptions for the coming years.