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Banking wizard Shaukat Tarin made third finance minister in weeks

Hammad Azhar has been removed

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 16, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 months ago
Posted: Apr 16, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 months ago

Photo: AFP/file

Shaukat Tarin has been appointed Pakistan’s fourth finance minister during the PTI government in a major reshuffle on Friday.

The portfolio has been taken back from Hammad Azhar. This is the second such major change. On March 29, Hafeez Shaikh was removed from the post.

Just a day after Hafeez Sheikh was removed as the finance minister, there were reports that Tarin would be the next finance minister.

Geo News reported that Tarin said that he was “ready to directly work with” the government but had asked for 15 to 20 days to “deal with something he’s busy in.”

Tarin was already a member of the prime minister’s Economic Advisory Council. He has served as adviser to the PM on finance during the PPP’s tenure.

Who is Shaukat Tarin?

He is a banker by profession and worked as the president of HBL in 1997. In 2000, he built Union Bank, which was later sold to Standard Chartered Bank.

Tarin became a senator and the federal finance minister in president Asif Ali Zardari’s government. As the finance minister under the PPP government, Tarin signed the bailout program with the IMF under that government and concluded the seventh NFC Award. However, he left the ministry without completing his tenure to start his own bank, Silk Bank, where he served at top positions.

These changes come at a time when Pakistan has just received another $500 million from the International Monetary Fund as part of the $6 billion bailout package it signed in July 2019.

The third and latest tranche of the program brings the total borrowing for budget support to $2 billion.

Islamabad had signed the 39-month bailout program with the IMF to avert sovereign default because of a balance-of-payment crisis. The program will cost Pakistan $180 million in interest payments at less than 3% to be paid in 10 years.

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