This is apropos a Business Recorder news item “Economic body asked to provide clear road maps” carried by the newspaper yesterday. According to the report, “The Economic Advisory Council (EAC) has been asked to come up with short-, medium-, and long-term road maps for important sectors of the economy with a view to achieving sustainable economic development as the government wants to include short-term proposals in the upcoming budget for the next fiscal year.”
We all know that EAC is not a constitutional body; nor is it mandated to frame policies. Economic policymaking is strictly the domain or province of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet. Asking EAC to delineate “clear” road maps is something that will certainly create unnecessary tensions among ministers, advisers and special assistants to prime minister. Finance minister Shaukat Tarin, who is de jure head of EAC, will be required to strike a delicate balance between ECC and EAC.
Rashid Noorani (Karachi)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021