Appoint new Finance Minister

THOUGH Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb emphatically denied Saturday as baseless the reports about resignation of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar but rumours are rife especially over the past few days that the government has decided to replace Ishaq Dar — currently in London due to health issues — with a new adviser or a full-fledged finance minister. Given Mr Dar’s health as well as NAB references he is facing, it indeed is impossible for him to stay focused on his very demanding job. It is therefore better for him as well as the country that he resigns from the seat.
Before looking for options that the government has to fill the most important seat in the Cabinet, it will be unfair not to recognise the services rendered by Ishaq Dar to reinvigorate the country’s economy that was at the verge of collapse in 2013. Credit of this definitely goes to the hard work of Mr Dar yet there is no denying the fact that the economy still faces many daunting challenges that needs to be fixed at the earliest. Nevertheless, replacing Ishaq Dar at this hour when he is not in a position to perform to the best of his capabilities has become a must for the government to address country’s economic woes. To fill the shoes of Mr Dar, the PML (N) in fact has no dearth of capable people as it has Sartaj Aziz as well as Haroon Akhtar Khan and Dr Miftah Ismail, who indeed have the capabilities to head the finance team. Whosoever assumes the charge, he needs to map out a clear course of action that envisages addressing chronic matters relating to fiscal deficit, circular debt, stagnant exports & remittances, low tax to GDP ratio. Fixing them is the only panacea to put the country on the path of sustainable development and also help in realising the long cherished dream of breaking the begging bowl, which over the decades has greatly harmed our sovereignty and integrity.

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