ISLAMABAD: After a long-term of nine years of a banker finance minister – Shaukat Aziz – it is once again a banker Shaukat Tareen who has been assigned to bring the country out of the economic crisis that has been deepening with every passing day since the ouster of the previous government that claimed for a turn around. Shaukat Tareen who is a banker by profession is also a friend of the former finance minister and prime minister Shaukat Aziz besides having experience of running his bank, Union Bank, later sold out to the Standard Charted Bank for a good price than the biggest public sector bank HBL. He has also the singular honour to serve as chief executive of the HBL during the tenure of Shaukat Aziz.
It is interesting that the country’s economy is being dealt by a banker since 1999 instead of professional economists who claimed to bring the national economy back on the track but the time proved all his claims merely a jugglery of words and nothing else and the country is still standing at the position of 1999 even worse today.
Once again, the democratic government has opted for a banker to overhaul the economy instead of providing opportunity to a professional of high calibre to deal with the situation who is also making toll claims of bring back the economy on track in short span of time but time will tell how wise the decision was to put a banker again at the steering of the finance ministry to save the country from the turmoil.
The former prime minister cum finance minister was used to bag the credit of revival of the economy that was almost destroyed and told the nation that he has been successful to achieve the targets as he broke the bagging bowl and despite bad condition assured about seven percent economic growth during the last five years and bringing the foreign exchange to record level of over sixteen billion US dollars but all of a sudden all of his claims proved to be false as the country is changing worst economic crises wit reserves fallen to merely four billion dollars and the government is setting economic growth target at four percent while the currency facing unprecedented devaluation.
Now it is up to the new banker finance minister to come up with a workable plan to save the country from the ever growing economic crises that is also a big challenge for the democratic government who looks to determined to improve the situation as the politician Finance Minister Syed Naveed Qamar has been shifted from the ministry to give Tareen a free hand to tackle the situation.
Source: The Post, 20/10/2008