Shaukat Tareen new finance minister, Hammad removed

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ISLAMABAD: Shaukat Tareen has been appointed Pakistan’s finance minister, the finance  portfolio has been taken back from Hammad Azhar.

This is the second such major change. On March 29, Hafeez Shaikh was removed from the post. When Hafeez Sheikh was removed as the finance minister, there were reports that Tareen would be the next finance minister.

Media reported that Tareen said that he was “ready to directly work with” the government but had asked for 15 to 20 days to “deal with something he’s busy in.”

Tareen was already a member of the prime minister’s newly constituted Economic Advisory Council.

Tareen was the adviser to PM on finance during the PPP’s tenure and finance minister during Musharraf’s era.

The changes in finance ministry come at a time when Pakistan has just received another $500 million from the IMF as part of the $6 billion bailout package it signed in July 2019.

The third and latest tranche of the programme brings the total borrowing for budget support to $2 billion.

Pakistan has signed the 39-month bailout programme with the IMF to avert sovereign default because of a balance-of-payment crisis. The program will cost Pakistan $180 million in interest payments.