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President Zardari Constitutes National Economic Council

P.M. Sharif to serve as chairman of body tasked with reviewing country’s overall economic situation and advising government on balanced development, regional equity

by Staff Report

File photo courtesy National Assembly of Pakistan

President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday constituted the 13-member National Economic Council (NEC), a constitutional body tasked with reviewing the country’s overall economic situation and advising the federal and provincial governments on plans to ensure balanced development and regional equity.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 156 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is pleased to constitute the National Economic Council,” read a notification issued by the Cabinet Division.

It said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would chair the NEC, which includes as members Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar; Defense Minister Khawaja Asif; Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb; Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal and the chief ministers of all four provinces. Additionally, the NEC includes Punjab senior minister Marriyum Aurangzeb; Sindh Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro; Adviser to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa C.M. on Finance Muzammil Aslam; and Balochistan Planning Minister Zahoor Ahmed Buledi.

The NEC has also coopted through special invitation Economic Affairs Minister Ahad Cheema, the Planning Commission deputy chairman and the secretaries of the finance, planning and economic affairs divisions.

According to Article 156(2) of the Constitution, the NEC is authorized to review the overall economic condition of the country and advise the federal and provincial governments in formulating financial, commercial, social and economic policies that ensure balanced development and regional equity. The Constitution calls for NEC meetings to be summoned at least twice annually and for the body to submit an annual report to both houses of Parliament.

Reportedly, the first meeting of the NEC would convene on June 10, just a few days ahead of the government’s stated plans to unveil the federal budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

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