PM Shehbaz decides to abolish five key ministries in major government overhaul

Sources say recommendations have been sought from five federal ministries within a week

News Desk July 10, 2024
Roles of ministries allocated to provinces should be explained, Prime Minister's directive: Photo: Express

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has decided to abolish five key ministries and departments as part of a major government restructuring effort. The Institutional Reforms Cell, established by the prime minister, has commenced work on "rightsizing."

According to sources, recommendations have been sought from five federal ministries within a week. These ministries include Information Technology, Kashmir Affairs, Ministry of Safeguard, Ministry of Industries and Production, and Ministry of Health Services.

PM Shehbaz has directed to form a committee comprising the Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb and Member of National Assembly Bilal Azhar Kiani to explain the role of provincial ministries.

On the other hand, the federal cabinet has formally approved the abolition of the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives. Approval for the entire plan related to the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives has been granted.

The prime minister has instructed to immediately provide relief on electricity bills and expedite work on solar tube wells. In the cabinet meeting, approval was also given to run advertisements for medicines on TV, radio, and print media.

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Previously, the federal government further reduced the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) by Rs50 billion within 10 days of the start of the new fiscal year 2024-25, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning Ministry was informed on June 9.

The committee which met here with its chairman Saeed Abdul Qadir Gilani in the chair, sought details of the revised PSDP and the ongoing development projects. During the meeting, Planning Secretary Awais Manzur Sumra gave a briefing on the working of the ministry.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, who also attended the meeting, gave an overview of the prevailing economic conditions in the country. He painted a grim economic situation, saying that the country was being run on borrowing.

The entire country is being run on borrowing, including the salaries, pensions and subsidies. We wasted 75 years moving in circles,” he said, adding that the successive governments could not maintain continuity of policies due to political instability.

“Now, we have no other option but to manage our revenues and expenses. We have to improve our efficiency, we have to have exports-led growth,” he said, “If we do not show efficiency in the next quarter of a century, we will lose justification for the creation of Pakistan as a separate country.”

Iqbal said that Pakistan’s exports were currently worth $30 billion, while the country had to pay off $75 billion debt over the next three years.


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