High-powered committee formed to tackle country’s economic woes

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  • National Development Council, to be chaired by PM Imran Khan, will also have Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa as one of its members

The Federal government has formed a high-powered committee with representation from both civil and military leadership to strategise for the country’s economic future.

The National Development Council (NDC), which will be chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, will also have Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa as one of its members. The federal cabinet approved the formation of the NDC at a meeting presided over by the Prime Minister on Tuesday.

At the same meeting, the cabinet also approved the ‘high-power’ commission promised by the Prime Minister during his post-budget address, that will probe how foreign debts swelled to Rs24,000 billion in the last decade during two successive governments of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The commission will be headed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) deputy chairman Hussain Asghar.

The approval for the NDC comes almost a week after the official notification of its formulation.

Other members of the NDC include Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh, Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtiyar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, all provincial chief ministers, AJK prime minister, Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister, any additional minister/head of strategic body, secretary to the prime minister, secretaries of foreign affairs, finance and planning division and additional secretary of the Prime Minister Office as secretary to the NDC.

Meanwhile, the Commission of Inquiry and its ToR was announced by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and SAPM on Accountability Shahzad Akbar at a post-cabinet meeting press conference.

The SAPM said the commission would comprise senior officials of NAB, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Auditor General of Pakistan and Accountant General of Pakistan. The economic division secretary will be the secretary of the commission.

According to details, the commission is supposed to complete its investigations within six months.

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