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Hafeez Shaikh takes oath as Finance Minister

ISLAMABAD: Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Friday was sworn in as oath as the Minister for Finance.

The swearing-in was held at a ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. The oath was administered by President Dr Arif Alvi.

The Cabinet Division issued the notification after Hafeez Shaikh took the oath as a federal minister. “The President, on the advice of the Prime Minister, has been pleased to appoint Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as Federal Minister. He will hold the portfolio of Finance, as allocated by the Prime Minister,” according to a notification.

The decision was taken in wake of an Islamabad High Court ruling that unelected aides to the prime minister could not head government committees. The IHC had aside a notification through which the prime minister had reconstituted the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) headed by Hafeez Shaikh and declared it illegal.

The other committees headed by the finance adviser include the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), Cabinet Committee on State-owned Enterprises (CCSOEs) and the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC).

The prime minister had consulted with his legal team to discuss the complications arising out of the court verdict. The Cabinet Division had prepared a summary for the PM’s Office for the reconstitution of the four committees following the court ruling.

The prime minister can appoint an unelected individual as minister for six months under Article 91 of the Constitution. The previous PML-N government had appointed Miftah Ismail as the federal finance minister to present the annual.

The IHC decision has also Commerce Adviser Abdur Razak Dawood, Institutional Reforms Adviser Dr Ishrat Husain and special assistants Dr Fasial Sultan, Nadeem Baber, Tabish Gauhar and Dr Waqar Masood as all of them hold important portfolios.

It is reported that Razaq Dawood and Faisal Sultan could be appointed as federal ministers until the Senate elections next year. They are likely to given Senate tickets so they could continue holding these positions.