Shehbaz, not finance minister, to head reconstituted Ecnec

Mehtab Haider
Saturday, Jun 15, 2024

ISLAMABAD: The government has further clipped the wings of Minister for Finance Mohammad Aurangzeb as the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has been reconstituted and placed under the chairmanship of the prime minister.

Earlier, the finance minister used to chair ECNEC, but now PM Shehbaz Sharif would chair it. In the re-constitution of ECNEC, Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, who also holds a portfolio, would serve ECNEC as a member. The finance minister is also included as a member in ECNEC.

However, sources said in the last National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, held just ahead of the budget announcement, a special committee was constituted to empower the NEC and ECNEC with the mandate to meet frequently, at least on quarterly basis, so that the centre and provinces could launch developmental initiatives in a collaborative manner. In this context, ECNEC was reconstituted with representation of both federal and provincial representatives.

According to an official notification, issued on Friday, the PM, in terms of Rule 22(5) of the Rules of Business, 1973, has constituted the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), with the following composition:

The PM will serve as chairman ECNEC. Other members will be Deputy Prime Minister/ Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Finance & Revenue, Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Marriyum Aurangzeb, Senior Minister for Planning, Development; Environment Protection and Climate Change; Forestry, Fisheries & Wildlife; Chief Minister’s Special Initiatives, Government of the Punjab, Jam Khan Shoro, Minister for Irrigation, Government of Sindh, Muzammil Aslam, Advisor to the Chief Minister on Finance, Government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Mir Shoaib Nosherwani, Minister for Finance and Mines & Minerals Department, Government of Balochistan.

By special invitation for all items, ECNEC could invite deputy chairman, Planning Commission, secretary Economic Affairs Division, secretary Finance Division, secretary Planning, Development & Special Initiatives Division, chairman Planning & Development Board Punjab, chairman Planning & Development Board Sindh, ACS Planning & Development Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ACS Planning & Development Department, Balochistan.

Other officers of the federal and provincial governments as well as the governments of AJK, GB would be invited to the meetings of ECNEC on need basis. The terms of reference (ToRs) of ECNEC will remain the same as notified by the Cabinet Division.

The ToRs notified in September 2021 stated that in terms of Rule 22 (5) of the Rules of Business, the PM has been pleased to approve the ToRs of the Executive Committee of National Economic Council to consider and decide accordingly Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) schemes (federal/provincial) according to sanctioning limits, approved by the National Economic Council and notified/ issued by Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives from time to time

(ii) To follow changes as deemed appropriate in plans initiated by Planning Commission/ Ministry of Planning

(iii) To review policy issues related to development projects/ plans before submission to the National Economic Council.

Earlier the government has taken away chairmanship of cabinet Committee on Privatization from Minister for Finance Muhammad Aurangzeb and given this portfolio to Deputy Prime Minister/ Foreign Minister Ishaque Dar