ISLAMABAD: Asad Umar has announced that he will no longer be part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s federal cabinet. In a tweet on Thursday, Umar said Prime Minister Imran Khan had offered him the energy minister portfolio instead of finance as part of a cabinet reshuffle.
“As part of a cabinet reshuffle PM desired that I take the energy minister portfolio instead of finance. However, I have obtained his consent to not take any cabinet position. I strongly believe @ImranKhanPTI is the best hope for Pakistan and inshallah will make a naya Pakistan,” Umar tweeted.
Umar the former CEO of Engro was handpicked by Prime Minister Imran Khan to serve as finance minister and improve the economic affairs of the country.
With Umar no longer in charge of the finance ministry, who will replace him remains unanswered. Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned Federal Minister for power Omar Ayub Khan and is expected to name his as the next finance minister.
Prior to the meeting, Omar Ayub was asked by reporters if he had been summoned by Prime Minister Khan to be named as the next finance minister.
“I am going to the PM Office for a meeting which had been scheduled from before. We have given approval for the load management plan during Ramazan,” Omar Ayub told reporters.
According to reports, former finance minister Shaukat Tarin had been offered to become the finance adviser but refused. Tarin had served as the finance minister in the PPP-led government of Yousaf Raza Gillani from 2009 to 2010.
Meanwhile, Shamshad Akhter, former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, also called on Prime Minister Imran Khan, sources informed media. Akther’s meeting with the premier is also being seen as part of the same process.
Other prominent names which have surfaced for the position of finance adviser include former caretaker finance minister Salman Shah, former finance minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, former State Bank of Pakistan governor Ishrat Hussain and economist Hafeez Pasha.
Salman Shah speaking to media he said there were several issues facing the economy especially the balance of payments crisis.
“A deep-rooted reforms strategy is required which needs to be supported by the people, business community and bureaucracy. Without investment, our problems will keep on escalating,” Shah added.
Shah called reports of his name being included in the list of probable finance advisers as speculation, adding that it would be premature to comment at this point.