The federal government appointed Hammad Azhar as the federal minister for revenue but withdrew the portfolio only a day later, leaving many wondering why it happened.
SAMAA TV did some digging into it. A protest by Adviser to PM on Finance Hafeez Sheikh turns out to be the main reason behind Azhar losing his position, sources close to Sheikh told our correspondent.
Sheikh registered his protest over the handover of the revenue division to Azhar with the prime minister. Pleased by his performance relating to the 2019-20 budget, Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to promote Azhar from a state minister to the federal minister for revenue.
But Sheikh’s arguments compelled the government to take a U-turn on the appointment, the sources said.
Sheikh argued that he had signed Pakistan’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the budget documents in his capacity as the adviser to PM on finance and revenue.
He maintained that the revenue division could not be separated from finance, arguing that both had had their powers vested in the same place.
The government issued an amended order and once again handed over the revenue division to Sheikh.
Azhar will now look after the economic affairs division, which means he will not be able to directly interfere in the affairs of the Ministry of Finance or Federal Board of Revenue.
Reached for comment, Azhar said the decision to change his portfolio was made after consulting him and he was “satisfied” with it.