Finance adviser meets PM, says talks with IMF to be expedited

  • Dr Hafeez Sheikh says budget to be announced not earlier than May 24

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday met newly-appointed Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.

Dr Sheikh apprised the premier regarding talks with officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as his working on the upcoming budget.

Speaking to the media ahead of his meeting with PM Imran, Dr Sheikh said he had directed the finance ministry to start drafting a medium-term strategy paper for the economy.

“We will be able to furnish a medium-term strategy paper by the 30th,” he said. Sheikh later stated that the budget can be presented no earlier than May 24.

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He said the process of talks with IMF will be hastened. “Pakistan wants the process of talks with IMF to proceed and the international lender has committed to sending a mission to the country soon,” the finance adviser added.

“I will speak to the IMF mission head in the evening,” he further said.

Sheikh’s appointment had been notified on Friday after the president accorded his assent to the prime minister’s suggestion that Sheikh be appointed his adviser on finance, revenue and economic affairs. He will serve as the de facto finance minister after Asad Umar was asked to step down from the position.

The decision had come amidst a major cabinet reshuffle by the PTI only eight months into its tenure.

Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh is an internationally renowned economist with more than 30 years of experience in economic policymaking, management and implementation.

He last served as the finance minister from 2010 to 2013 during the PPP government’s rule.

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