ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Tuesday said that the government would ensure bringing in economic reforms, continuity of the economic policies, besides further improving them. He said that further enhancement of foreign investment under the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was among the top priorities of the caretaker setup.

The prime minister chaired a meeting in which he was given a detailed briefing over the economic situation, PM Office Media Wing said.

During the meeting, the prime minister said that work on the public welfare projects would continue and the government would ensure provision of international quality facilities in the health and education sectors. He also directed for expediting ongoing reforms in the power sector and strict implementation of measures for increasing tax revenues.

Prime Minister Kakar said that the caretaker government would concentrate on deregulation and responsible autonomy for further improvement of the economy and expressed the resolve to focus their energies on economic reforms during their tenure.

The meeting was attended by senior officials including governor State Bank of Pakistan, secretaries Finance Division and Power and chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). The meeting was briefed over the steps taken for bringing further improvement and stability in the economy.

A detailed briefing was also given over the reforms in the power sector. The caretaker prime minister directed for submission of detailed reports regarding ongoing reforms in all sectors.

Kakar took charge as the caretaker prime minister a day earlier after he was administered oath by President Arif Alvi. He was named as the interim PM after his predecessor, Shehbaz Sharif, and former opposition leader in the National Assembly Raja Riaz agreed to propose Kakar for the coveted slot.

The officials briefed Kakar in detail about the measures being taken to bring about stability and a further improvement in the country’s economy, the ongoing reforms in the power sector

“Will maintain continuity in country’s economic policies and bring more economic improvement,” he assured. Interim PM Kakar added that public welfare projects will continue uninterrupted during his government and directed that international standard facilities should be ensured in the health and education sectors.

The caretaker premier also added that his government would prioritise steps to increase foreign investment via the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

Kakar also added that his government would accelerate the implementation of ongoing reforms in the power sector. While measures to increase tax revenue should be strictly followed, he directed. “The caretaker government will focus on deregulation to improve the economy.”

The caretaker prime minister also directed the officials to submit a detailed report on the ongoing reforms in each sector.

Cabinet formation on cards 

Even though Kakar has given a hint of what lies on the economic front, his first task is to assemble a cabinet.

Official sources told today that Kakar has sped up the consultation for the formation of the cabinet. They added that the interim PM has decided to form a small cabinet and personally review the profiles of all possible candidates.

“I don’t want to put more burden on the country suffering from economic problems,” the caretaker prime minister told his friends, according to the sources.

He further expressly wished that his protocol be kept to a minimum, adding that he did not want to incur unnecessary expenses nor make people suffer.

Moreover, former information minister Muhammad Ali Durrani is likely to be given the portfolio of the Ministry of Information, the sources said.

The sources also said that the names of caretaker ministers under consideration include former foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, former civil servant Shoaib Suddle, former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Ahsan Bhoon, former senator Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, and former police IG and acclaimed columnist Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema.

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