Hammad Azhar becomes new finance minister as PM sacks Hafeez Shaikh

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ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday removed Abdul Hafeez Shaikh as finance minister, confirmed Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz.

Faraz said that the premier had decided to change his economic team, adding that Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar will now take up the additional portfolio of the finance ministry.

The information further said that the premier was not satisfied with the performance of the outgoing finance minister. He hoped that new minister will manage to overcome inflation in the country.

Last week, the premier removed his special assistant on petroleum Nadeem Babar to resign from his position.

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar announced the decision. Secretary for Petroleum Division had also been asked to report to the Establishment Division.

Umar said that both officials have been asked to leave the charge in order to ensure transparency in the investigation, besides clarifying that Babar and secretary petroleum had not been found involved in any wrongdoing.

The planning minister said that the prime minister had directed the Federal Investigation Agency to conduct forensic audit of oil marketing companies.

He further said that some incompetent people in the petroleum division hold administrative positions, adding that the division has been directed to report to the premier in this regard immediately.

The planning minister further said that the Petroleum Division and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) have lead role in the lawmaking that helps to run the whole sector.

There is ambiguity in functions of the division and Ogra as when something bad happens they starts holding each other responsible for it.

He asserted that there is a need to end the ambiguity in order to save the country from losses of billions of rupees.