Hammad Azhar replaces Dr Hafeez Shaikh as Finance Minister

06:40 PM | 29 Mar, 2021
Hammad Azhar replaces Dr Hafeez Shaikh as Finance Minister

ISLAMABAD -  Federal Minister of Industries and Production Hammad Azhar was given additional charge of the Ministry of Finance as Prime Minister Imran Khan has removed Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh from the post. 

Federal Information Minister, Senator Shibli Faraz talking to a private news channel said that the new economic team would take all possible measures to provide relief to common man, address issues related to inflation.

He revealed that the premier was not satisfied with the performance of old economic team led by Hafeez Shaikh.

He expressed the hope that Hamad Azhar would managed to overcome the inflation so that poor masses could get relief.

The development comes days after the premier removed special assistant on petroleum Nadeem Babar over fuel crisis that hit the country in June last year. 

Shaikh was made finance minister in Dec 2020 by the premier after the Islamabad High Court ruled that unelected aides could not head government committees.

However, the senior economist could retain the post for six months only since he was an unelected individual to head the ministry. As per rules, he had to be replaced in June 2021. 

In an attempt to cement his position, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) picked him as its candidate for Senate seat from Islamabad but he lost it to PDM-backed Yousaf Raza Gillani. 

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The prime minister is empowered to appoint an unelected individual as a minister for six months under Article 91(9) of the Constitution.

However, the Constitution states that at the end of six months, that individual will "cease to be a minister and shall not before the dissolution of that Assembly be again appointed a minister; unless he is elected as a member of that Assembly."

In light of the Constitution, the government gave a Senate ticket to Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in order to get him elected.

Earlier, the IHC judgment noted that Article 93 of the Constitution allows the prime minister to appoint up to five advisors, and conferring of a federal minister status on an advisor is "only for the purpose of perks and privileges, and does not make the advisor a federal minister as such."

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