Home Global Village Dr. Miftah Ismail appointed Finance Minister just hours before presenting budget

Dr. Miftah Ismail appointed Finance Minister just hours before presenting budget

Miftah Ismail
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News Analysis |

In an unprecedented move, just hours before the announcement of the 2018-19 budget, the Government of Pakistan has appointed Dr. Miftah Ismail, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance and Revenue, as the new federal minister for Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs.

Mifta took oath as a finance minister after President Mamnoon Hussain approved his appointment on the recommendation of PM Abbasi in the presence of cabinet members, political workers, and government officials. Mifta is appointed finance minister under the Article 92(1) and 91(9) of the Constitution which became a basis for his promotion from PM advisor to top slot in the finance ministry.

The government has cut down and diverted the development spending to other heads to ensure that people have plenty of money in their pockets this fiscal year, which may tempt and convince the masses to vote for ‘sanctity of vote’.

It must be noted that Mifta in not a member of parliament and was promoted to fill the shoes of ex-finance minister and senator-elect Ishaq Dar. Ishaq Dar, who is an absconder, has failed to appear in apex and accountability courts despite many notices. Mifta has been criticized by the section of the media along with government for purposing a full year budget, which is another unprecedented move and is declared apparent illegal and undemocratic act by opposition parties.

Mifta played down the criticism and claimed that government has to pay salaries and finance the government projects for a full fiscal year, not only 3-4 months.  Since expenditure allocation is for a full year, therefore, the government will have to announce the budget for full-year.

Read more: The Political Demise of Dar; finance minister out of favor!

Mifta may have shut down those making queries over this move, but, he must be asked that did previous governments not announce the budget for interim periods? Did they not pay for the ongoing expenditures, salaries, and pensions? Mifta will present the federal budget today for a record 6th year for which, the government has apparently no mandate.

PTI and PPP have lambasted the incumbent government for presenting an ‘illegal and unconstitutional’ full-year budget, without a democratic mandate. The government has no democratic right to present the budget for a full year and snatch the rights of the next parliament without having a mandate, Bilawal Bhutto had remarked, while addressing the media on April 25.

Mifta took oath as a finance minister after President Mamnoon Hussain approved his appointment on the recommendation of PM Abbasi in the presence of cabinet members, political workers, and government officials.

Other political parties have also questioned the stance of the government. Moreover, opposition parties have already declared to lodge a strong protest inside the Parliament House during the presentation of the federal budget today [Friday]. But, why to get into another controversy? Since PML-N is mired in unprecedented political scandals and corruption cases.

Ousted Nawaz Sharif is banned for life from contesting elections, he faces the jail term if proven guilty in accountability court. His sons are declared absconders. Maryam Nawaz and Captain retired Safdar are facing accountability court cases. Shahbaz Sharif, and his son in law Imran are under investigation for possible embezzlement, illegal appointments and accumulating assets beyond means.  Railway minister Khawaja Saad Rafique is in serious trouble as National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has opened another inquiry after Paragon society scam.

Read more: Prime Minister Abbasi nominates a young corporate figure Ali Jahangir Siddiqui…

Amid criticism and ongoing scandals, the government is on course to present a populist budget to appease masses. Today’s budget will carry major attractions for the government employees, big corporates, pensioners and other businesses who will be major beneficiaries of governments’ last-ditch effort to woe voters across the country.

The government has cut down and diverted the development spending to other heads to ensure that people have plenty of money in their pockets this fiscal year, which may tempt and convince the masses to vote for ‘sanctity of vote’.


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