Updated March 12th, 2024 at 09:14 IST

Aurangzeb named Pakistan's finance minister in PM Shehbaz Sharif's new cabinet

Sharif's cabinet includes Muhammad Aurangzeb, CEO of HBL Bank, who will now assume the pivotal role of finance minister.

Reported by: Business Desk
Pakistan new cabinet appointments | Image:Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif, FM Muhammad Aurangzeb
Advertisement

Pakistan Finance Minister: Muhammad Aurangseb, currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan's largest bank, has been appointed as the finance minister in the country's newly formed cabinet, as Pakistan aims to forge a fresh deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and stabilise its economy.

Following a national election last month that resulted in a fragmented parliament, a coalition alliance elected Shehbaz Sharif as prime minister for a second term to confront Pakistan's economic and political challenges.

Advertisement

Sharif's cabinet includes Muhammad Aurangzeb, CEO of HBL Bank, who will now assume the pivotal role of finance minister.

"Mr. Muhammad Aurangzeb officially assumed the role of Finance Minister of Pakistan after taking the oath at the Presidency today," announced the Ministry of Finance in a statement on Monday night.

Advertisement

HBL confirmed Aurangzeb's departure from the bank, emphasising his transition to a new governmental role.

Aurangzeb's selection comes amidst deliberations over various seasoned candidates, including four-time finance minister Ishaq Dar, reflecting Pakistan's urgency in charting a path toward economic recovery.

Advertisement

Dar, in addition to being named a federal minister, has been appointed as the foreign minister, according to a government document detailing the portfolio allocations.

"Economic diplomacy is the need of the hour for sure," remarked Dar in an interview with Reuters.

Advertisement

In a statement released by HBL, Aurangzeb expressed enthusiasm about serving the country in his new capacity, highlighting his commitment to Pakistan's economic advancement.

Pakistan's current IMF program is set to expire next month, prompting Sharif's government to prioritise negotiations for a new, more sustainable bailout to address the nation's challenges, including high inflation and external financing needs.

Advertisement

The swearing-in ceremony for the new cabinet, officiated by newly elected President Asif Ali Zardari, took place on Monday, more than a month after the February 8 national elections.

Sharif's proposal for the cabinet appointment, as communicated to the president earlier on Monday, included the nomination of one female minister, Shaza Fatima Khawaja, for a state-level position.

Advertisement

Despite not holding a parliamentary seat, Aurangzeb can serve as a minister for up to six months under local regulations. According to Reuters, Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) intends to secure a Senate seat for Aurangzeb in the near future.

(With Reuters inputs.)

Advertisement

 

Advertisement

Published March 12th, 2024 at 09:14 IST