Dr Ishrat Hussain calls it a day at 80

Requests PM Imran Khan to relieve him of his responsibilities with effect from September 1

Rizwan Shehzad   July 30, 2021
Former State Bank of Pakistan governor Ishrat Hussain. PHOTO: FILE


Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain resigned from his post on Friday, requesting Prime Minister Imran Khan to relieve him of his responsibilities with effect from September 1, 2021.

Dr Ishrat, while confirming the news to The Express Tribune also shared the reasons and his achievements in the last three years.

“I wish to confirm that I have submitted my resignation as Adviser to the Prime Minister and requested him to relieve me of my responsibilities with effect from September 1, 2021,” he said.

While sharing the reasons for retirement, Dr Ishrat said he had joined the government with the understanding that he would serve for three years and would seek retirement after attaining the age of 80.

“Having reached that age and completed three years, I have requested the Prime Minister to relieve me of my official responsibilities,” he said, adding one must realise that he has rendered 57 years of continuous public service including 15 years in the Civil Service, 21 years in World Bank, six in the State Bank of Pakistan, two years as chairman NCGR, eight years in IBA and three years in the present government.

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“It is time for me to call it a day and to lead a less stressful life, and spend more time with my grandchildren and pursue my other interests,” Dr Ishrat stated.

During the last three years, he stated, he designed and obtained the approval of the Federal Cabinet on several reform initiatives.

Ishrat said he reorganised the federal government and eased the burden on the exchequer by reducing the number of organisational entities from 441 to 307, adding that he restructured and reformed top-10 loss-making state-owned enterprises such as PIA, Railways, Pakistan Steel Mills and key institutions of governance such as FBR, Auditor General of Pakistan, and SECP.

In addition, he maintained that Public Finance Management Law under which the powers of the Ministry of Finance were delegated to the line ministries and the E-Office suite was introduced in the federal ministries to improve efficiency and transparency.

On civil service reforms, he said that he worked on performance agreements between the prime minister and the ministers and a new performance management system, systematic training of ex-cadre officers, induction of technical expertise in the federal ministries, specialized streams within the secretariat, reducing the hierarchical tiers, new promotion policy, directory retirement rules.

Moreover, he continued, an open and transparent selection process for the appointment of CEOs/MDs of public sector organisations based purely on merit was introduced.

“62 such appointments have been made under this process and several overseas Pakistanis have been selected,” he stated.

A Cabinet Committee on Institutional Reforms (CCIR) has also been established to review and monitor the implementation of these reforms, he added.

Dr Ishrat said he took up the assignment because he believed in PM Imran’s mission and vision of improving the governance structure of the country with the aim of bringing about an efficient and equitable economy free from the clutches of elite capture and helping the poor get out of poverty trap.


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