Govt revises names for lucrative adviser post to IMF executive director

The newest summary includes the names of Ministry of Finance External Finance Additional Secretary Zafar Hasan, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch and Punjab Finance Secretary Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh

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ISLAMABAD: With just two days left in the government’s tenure to complete, it has changed the panel shortlisted for the lucrative Washington-based position of senior adviser to the executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A summary has been forwarded to the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi by the finance ministry which seeks go-ahead for one of three names before the government’s tenure ends on May 31st, reported Express Tribune.

The newest summary includes the names of Ministry of Finance External Finance Additional Secretary Zafar Hasan, Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch and Punjab Finance Secretary Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh.

All these individuals belong to the influential Pakistan Administrative Services (PAS) group.

Previously, the federal finance secretary had forwarded the names of Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh, Principal Secretary to Sindh Governor Muhammad Saleh Farooqui and Naveed Allaudin, Additional Secretary Finance to Finance Minister Miftah Ismail.

However, the summary remained ignored by the finance ministry and was later changed before being forwarded to the prime minister, told officials.

According to the officials, Naveed Allaudin’s name was removed from the finance ministry and Saleh Farooqui opted out.

This manoeuvring is being done to pave way for the appointment of Hamid Sheikh as a senior adviser to the IMF executive director.

A notification to this effect is expected to be announced over the coming two days.

Also, the finance ministry forwarded another summary seeking appointment of four economic ministers in the country’s embassies based in Beijing, London, Washington and Tokyo.

And interviews in this regard were expected to be conducted on Monday, with announcements to be published before Thursday.

This post of senior advisor has remained unfilled for over one year since Shahid Mehmood’s return to Pakistan.

Mr Mehmood who also hails from the influential PAS group was sent on another prized deputation as executive director at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila.

Eventually, the successful candidate would assist IMF Executive Director Jaffar Mojarrad, who is representative of seven countries at the IMF’s executive board.

Also, these officers from the influential PAS group were unable to meet professional requirements of the post, which impacted Pakistan’s position at the IMF.

The incumbent government unlike previously has failed to publicize the post of senior adviser among all ministries and departments of provincial and federal governments.

In 2017, the government had revised the policy for filling coveted foreign posts against basic pay scales of twenty to twenty-two.