Barely two days after the finance ministry notified the establishment of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) aim to review and formulate economic policies in a more holistic manner, the Pakistan Business Council (PBC) has pointed out that the charter of economy was missing
“While reviewing the terms of reference (ToR) of the EAC, we noticed that the development of a common Charter of Economy is missing,” PBC Chief Executive Officer Ehsan A Malik said in a letter written to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
The latter also said that ministers of commerce and industries had not been included in the board and it also lacks representatives of sectors like agriculture, IT, telecom and startups.
The PBC CEO said that fundamental reforms cannot be implemented without a cross-party consensus on the economy, said a report published in a leading newspaper.
“The PBC looks forward to working with you and the EAC,” the letter said adding that agronomy has not explicitly been covered in the EAC ToR.
“We recommend that this sector, which is also a major source of employment and rural welfare be represented in the EAC,” the letter said adding that “there is no representation of IT/ IT-enabled services, start-ups and the telecommunication sectors. These are businesses of the future and their recommendations would be valuable in future-proofing the economy.”
Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif constitute the the EAC, which has Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, 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 Ahmaf Malik, MD/CEO Fauji Foundation, Salman Ahmed, Shahzad Salim, Rahman Naseem, MusadaqZulqarnain and Dr ljazNabi as its members.
The EAC would advise on short term macro-economic stabilization as well as structural reforms for stable and sustained economic progress.
The EAC will be convened on weekly basis on the issues of national economic importance.
According to a notification, the council would review the overall economic condition of the country and propose possible corrective measures considering available resources of the country.
It would analyse the effectiveness of subsidies, protection and other financial support by the government to the state owned enterprises (SoEs) and other vital sectors of the economy in context of overall cost and benefit analysis of such subsidies/protection.
The council would review the existing market imperfections in the various important sectors of the economy in order to promote competition by correcting the market distortions; and advise the government ministries, organizations, bodies and various project implementing agencies in formulating evidence-based policies.
It would help in finding the technical expertise and human resource that may be required to carry out the requisite financial and economic analysis/studies.
The EAC will initially meet once a week (virtually/ in-person). Specific sub-committees will be formed for focused work with the timelines and defined scope. The EAC may co-opt any other member as per requirement, the notification added.