Miftah Ismail takes oath as Pakistan’s new finance minister

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Islamabad, Apr 27:  PML-N’s Miftah Ismail on Friday was appointed the new federal minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs.

Ismail’s appointment was recommended by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and approved by President Mamnoon Hussain.

Following his ascension to the top most job in the finance ministry, Ismail relinquishes his advisory role to the PM on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs.

Ismail’s appointment comes hours before he is scheduled to announce the 2018-19 budget of the federal government.

He took the oath in a ceremony attended by members of the cabinet, political workers and other high-level officials.

Ismail’s appointment as a federal minister is a rarity since he is not an elected member of the parliament.

The notification of his promotion — a copy of which is available with — cites Article 92(1) read with 91(9) of the Constitution as the basis of his appointment.

Ismail succeeds Ishaq Dar, who has been in London for medical treatment since October 2017. Dar, upon failing to return to Pakistan and face corruption cases against him, has been declared an absconder by an accountability court.

Ismail, who is a political economist and a member of the ruling PML-N, holds a PhD from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

He was the PM’s special assistant on economic affairs before being promoted to the advisory role and has now worked his way up to the top finance job in the country.

A day earlier, opposition parties announced that they would lodge a strong protest inside the Parliament House during the presentation of the federal budget today. They said they would decide the mode of protest at meetings planned before the start of the National Assembly and Senate sessions.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) convened separate meetings of their parliamentary groups at the Parliament House on Thursday to discuss a strategy for the budget session.

The leaders of both parties lambasted the government’s decision to present a full-year budget, terming it “illegal and unconstitutional”. The opposition wants the government to present a budget only for one quarter, saying that the rulers cannot snatch the right of deciding a budget from the next government expected to come into power in August, after the general elections.

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