ISLAMABAD: The government has constituted a 21-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC) led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. To ensure steady and sustainable economic improvement, the EAC will seek proposals on short-term macroeconomic stabilisation and structural changes.
The prime minister expressed his delight at the outcome in a statement announcing the creation of the EAC.
According to the EAC’s Terms of Reference (ToRs), the council’s goal is to analyze and create economic policies more comprehensively.
The EAC’s mandate and scope of work include reviewing the country’s overall economic condition and proposing possible corrective measures based on available resources, analyzing the effectiveness of government subsidies, protection, and other financial support to state-owned enterprises (SoEs) and other vital sectors of the economy in the context of overall cost and benefit analysis of such subsidies/protection, and reviewing existing market imperfections.
Weekly, the EAC will meet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to discuss topics of national economic importance. Specific sub-committees will be created to focus on specific tasks with specified dates and scope. Any additional member of the EAC may be co-opted if needed by the EAC.
The composition of the council shall constitute federal ministers, economists, former bureaucrats, businessmen, and bankers, including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal Chaudhary, Miftah Ismail, Saleem Mandviwalla, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Dr. Ayesha Ghous Pasha, Mussadiq Malik, Tariq Pasha, Mian Muhammad Mansha, Mohammad Ali Tabba, Arif Habib, Dr. Asim Hussain, Atif Bajwa, Faisal Farid, Aurangzeb, HBL, Waqar Ahmad Malik, MD/CEO Fauji Foundation, Salman Ahmed, Shahzad Salim, Rahman Naseem, Musadaq Zulqarnain and Dr Ijaz Nabi.
The Economic Advisory Council will meet (virtually/in person) once a week at first. Specific sub-committees will be created to focus on specific tasks with defined timelines and scope. Any additional member of the EAC may be co-opted if needed by the EAC.
Many independent experts described the formation of such forums as routine and a public relations exercise, based on previous experiences where they failed to provide useful input to policy formulations.
Several committees have been formed in the past but have failed to produce the desired results. Now, instead of protecting the vested interests of certain individuals, it is intended that this EAC would help policy development for the greater good of the country.