Musical chairs continue, as additional secretary finance removed after one day in office

Several changes could be made in FBR’s top brass in December and PM’s office will analyze a report on status of officers serving at important positions before taking any final decision

ISLAMABAD: As race heats up to find a replacement for embattled ex-Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, in another development Additional Finance Secretary Ghazanfar Abbasi Jilani has been removed from the position a day only after his selection.

It is widely expected a state minister for finance would be appointed and MNA Rana Afzal Khan, who is also parliament secretary for finance is said to be the favourite candidate for this post, reported a leading English daily.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is expected to keep portfolio of finance, revenue and economic affairs and there were suggestions given to constitute an economic advisory council including important people were also consideration.

PM office will appoint an acting finance secretary of its choosing before it formally appoints a successor to Dar, said sources. Secretary Finance Shahid Mahmood is on a visit to Dubai with other officials to raise $2-$3 billion dollars from international debt markets.

Mahmood was said to have handed over charge of Ministry of Finance to Jilani in consultation with Ishaq Dar, sources revealed. The position of acting charge to additional secretary was carried out without prior consultation of Establishment Division.

The additional charge of finance secretary has been given to Secretary of Economic Affairs Division, Arif Ahmad Khan. And Khan attended a meeting of National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance in his new role.

Major shuffling led to rumours of PM Abbasi was considering replacing bureaucrats appointed by Ishaq Dar as Shahid Mahmood is scheduled to retire in January 2018 and served under the ex-finance minister for under four years.

Also, sources disclosed PM office was pondering to replace Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Tariq Pasha, who is said to be very close to Ishaq Dar.  It is expected that several changes would be made in FBR’s top brass in December and PM’s office will analyze a report on status of officers serving at important positions before taking any final decision.

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