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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N)-led coalition government may be reluctant to accept a non-party technocrat as finance minister and may insist on appointing its own candidate as Finance Minister even if he/she operates merely as a front.

This was revealed in background interaction with senior members of the party who added that while there is little likelihood of stakeholders agreeing to Ishaq Dar serving as the country’s finance minister for the fifth time given the damage he inflicted on the economy due to his flawed policies yet a compromise on another PML-N loyalist is possible.

The Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) established on 17 June 2023 has, during the caretaker tenure, played an increasingly critical role in implementing several key economic policy reform measures though there is a consensus that a finance minister with the capacity to think out of the box is necessary to take appropriate mitigating measures as and when key macroeconomic indicators require prompt policy intervention.

PPP, PML-N agree on power-sharing formula for coalition govt

Sources in the finance ministry told this correspondent that Shamshad Akhtar remains the most likely to succeed, however, she has reportedly already indicated that she will not take the position if it is offered to her. Her critics believe that her position is a form of self-defence in case her name is not considered.

When contacted, senior leadership of the PML-N said the party has proposed Bilal Azhar Kiyani for the portfolio - he previously served as coordinator to the Prime Minister on Economy and Energy in July 2022.

The names of Muhammad Aurangzeb, president of HBL, and Salman Ahmed of McKinsey are also doing the rounds in the rumour mill in the federal capital.

The prime minister is empowered to appoint anyone as a federal minister who is not a member of parliament for a period of six months; besides with the Senate elections scheduled in March the party can offer a seat to a prospective candidate for the finance portfolio who is not a member.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

Comments

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Aslam Tanoli Feb 29, 2024 10:07am
This is not a natural alliance and all will agree to any agenda upon a call!
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Pakistani1 Feb 29, 2024 02:11pm
Everyone is the alliance has been in government before. It is to stop thinking about yourselves. Do some good for the country. Stop repeating mistakes of the past and expect better results.
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Tariq Qurashi Mar 01, 2024 10:50am
We need a first class Finance Minister, that has the capacity and political will to implement major reforms. This government will have to show some real leadership that goes beyond self interest.
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