Public Sector Development Program, CPEC among Asad Umar’s top priorities as he takes over planning ministry
- Asad Umar said that CPEC's first phase has completed or about to be completed and focus will now be on its second phase.
- Former finance minister said that as fiscal space increases, the development spending would also rise.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar has been brought back into the federal cabinet, as the former finance minister takes on the reins of planning and special initiative ministry.
Umar was administered oath by President Arif Alvi at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad. The portfolio of Ministry of Petroleum has been given Khusro Bakhtiar after planning portfolio was taken from him.
“About returning to the cabinet, I always used to say that when the mindsets of PM Imran Khan and me get aligned at one point, I would return to the cabinet. We were working together all along, so at the end of it we reached an agreement that this would be a better way to contribute,” said Umar, while talking about his return to the federal cabinet to a private news channel.
Speaking about his priorities as the minister for planning and special initiative, Umar said the planning, monitoring and implementation of Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) would be a major task alongside the implementation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which would be entering its second phase.
“The first phase of the CPEC, which includes major infrastructure projects, have been completed or about to be completed, so we are moving into the second phase of it where industrial units would be built, alongside work needs to be done in agriculture and social sector,” said Umar
Umar further said that he would also be working on other areas not part of planning and development ministry.
The former finance minister said that early signs of economic recovery have begun to appear. “Once we get out of this crisis, the ministry of planning and development would play a key role in fostering economic growth and creating job opportunities for the youth.”
He added that as fiscal space increases, the development spending would also rise.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led federal government decided on Monday to get back Asad Umar in the federal cabinet, with senior PTI leader and former finance minister Asad Umar coming back as minister for planning and special initiative.
The reshuffle was announced by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information & Broadcasting DR Firdous Ashiq Awan through a tweet. She said that a notification in this regard would be issued soon.
Months back Umar quit the federal cabinet, saying that the PM wanted him to take over as energy minister but he didn't believe that it was the right move. “As part of a cabinet reshuffle, PM desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance. However, I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position. I strongly believe Imran Khan is the best hope for Pakistan and inshallah will make a Naya Pakistan," Umar tweeted on April 18 after stepping down as finance minister.