On Monday, Shahbaz Sharif was sworn in as the Prime Minister by the Senate Chairman following a successful vote of no-confidence against the PTI-led government, making it the first-ever government in the history of the country to be ousted through a vote of no confidence. Immediately after coming to power Shahbaz Sharif announced a few policy changes within the government.
In a series of populist measures, PM Sharif announced to jack up the minimum wage from 21,000 and took it up to 25,000 rupees. The new premier also promised pay raises for the civil servants and for development projects of city centers and rural areas. In his maiden speech as chief executive Shahbaz Sharif also announced a 10 percent increase in pensions as well as the salaries of government employees earning less than one lac per month. He further canceled the two holiday work week and made it a one-holiday workweek. The premier also called for government institutions to begin work at eight in the morning rather than nine during Ramadan.
While analyzing the foreign policy of the country, the prime minister called for better relations with neighbors, especially with India, while also stressing that a solution to the Kashmir dispute still needs to be found. It is important to note that his Indian counterpart was also quick to congratulate him on taking up the office. In a tweet, Indian PM Narendra Modi wrote, “Congratulations to H. E. Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on his election as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. India desires peace and stability in a region free of terror so that we can focus on our development challenges and ensure the well-being and prosperity of our people.”
Shahbaz also promised to pull the country out of the economic morass, adding that just by the news of Shahbaz Sharif taking up the office, the dollar had plunged eight rupees and the stock market gained over 1500 points. He further added that “this reflected the public’s trust in us.”
Analyzing the health sector and the rumors surrounding the obstruction in operations of the Ehsaas Program, formerly known as the BISP, PM Shahbaz announced that he would not only revive these schemes but also expand them to incorporate different sectors within it. PM Shahbaz also announced a Ramzan package and subsidized flour and wheat prices in the process. The new PM also announced plans to expedite the multibillion-dollar project with the Chinese.