News Desk |
The government has removed Finance Secretary Younus Dagha a day after the Board of Investment (BoI) chairman’s tendered his resignation. As earlier reports suggested that the finance secretary was likely to be replaced within days, the government took no time in replacing the secretary finance.
On Thursday, it was reported that Dagha had developed differences with Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Hafeez Shaikh over the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “Dagha felt that the adviser had negotiated a bad deal for Pakistan,” an English daily said, adding that the differences emerged before the IMF deal was finalized.
Naveed Vakil, the Chief Operating Officer at the AKD Securities, said that the recent measures from the government have supported domestic financial markets leading to recovery, particularly, in the stock market.
The report speculated that the former finance minister Asad Umar’s team, which included Dagha, had softened the IMF program in significant ways. However, after the appointment of the new economic team, Dagha had not even participated in the last few rounds of talks with the IMF delegation.
BoI Chairman Haroon Sharif, who has tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday, has revealed that the appointment of the new economic team and negotiations with the IMF led to his resignation.
In the shocking revelation, the BoI chairman, who was appointed eight months ago, said that appointment of the new economic team and the differences over priorities of the IMF program pushed him to resign from his post.
Can Government Maintain a Sustainable Front?
Naveed Vakil, the Chief Operating Officer at the AKD Securities, said that the recent measures from the government have supported domestic financial markets leading to recovery, particularly, in the stock market. However, the economic expert said, the consistent shuffling and removal of key government officials were extremely concerning, particularly, from a sustainability perspective when viewed globally.
Dagha, a grade 22 officer was appointed to the post in March ahead of negotiations on the IMF bailout package.
Vakil said these changes, unless settled, will drastically impact the government’s ability to realize capital flows, including the foreign direct investment (FDI). With the backdrop of the IMF program, he said, the global financial institutions were keen to extend support to Pakistan as well as generate FDI, provided the government can maintain a sustainable front.
PSX Witnesses Largest Increase in a Decade, up by 6.4%
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) witnesses the largest increase in a decade. A research report of the Arif Habib Limited (AHL) stated that the market has increased by 2,135 points or 6.4 percent during the past two trading days.
In terms of points, the AHL research said, this is the largest increase ever during two consecutive trading sessions. In terms of percentage increase, 6.4 percent is a 10 year high after April 13, 2009, when the market increased by 7.9 percent during two consecutive days.
Read more: The cost of economic dependency
Dagha’s Removal Weeks Before Budget Raises Concerns
The economic experts have shown concerns over Dagha’s removal as part of a bureaucratic reshuffle mere weeks before the presentation of the federal budget. A notification issued in this regard instructed Dagha to report to the Establishment Division with “immediate effect”.
Following the news, many expressed views on Twitter saying Dagha was removed because he had allegedly developed differences with Advisor to PM on Finance Hafeez Shaikh over the IMF negotiations.
Younus Dagha pays the price for refusing to be a doormat during IMF negotiations. Imran Khan wants a politicized bureaucracy that acts dumb, deaf, blind and totally pliant. More things change, more they stay the same. pic.twitter.com/OzF0U37lKo
— Murtaza Solangi (@murtazasolangi) May 23, 2019
Dagha, a grade 22 officer was appointed to the post in March ahead of negotiations on the IMF bailout package. He was posted as the secretary of the commerce division prior to his appointment as finance secretary.
In a separate notification, Naveed Kamran Baloch, previously posted as secretary cabinet division, was asked to take the charge as secretary finance division. Meanwhile, Maroof Afzal, who was working as the secretary information technology and communication, has been made the secretary cabinet division.
Government removes Younis Dagha as Secretary Finance. A most accomplished and competent senior bureaucrat treated like dirt and thrown out.His crime? Resistance to total surrender to the IMF and his advice to keep national interest above personal agendas. Another day of shame.
— Syed Talat Hussain (@TalatHussain12) May 23, 2019