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Asad Umar rubbishes rumors of removal as finance minister

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umar on Wednesday said that he has no knowledge pertaining to the news of his expected removal from the finance portfolio by the  government, ARY News reported.

A rumor doing rounds on social media and taken up as news by a a section of media said that the government is likely to replace Asad Umar with former State Bank governor Shamshad Akhtar over his ‘unsatisfactory performance’.

Talking to a media outlet, Asad Umar elucidated, “being the finance minister, I am still chairing a session and have no information regarding the news of my expected removal from the post.”

He further clarified, “just yesterday, I had a meeting with Shamshad Akhtar but there was no mention of replacing the finance minister.”

Few news channels further reported that the government has started mulling on new names for the post of finance minister. Former State Bank of Pakistan governor Shamshad Akhtar tops the list for the most apt replacement.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, a few days ago, had also hinted at changing ministers who fail to perform up to the expectations.

It is pertinent to note here that the the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf website  had described Asad Umar’s performance in the first 100 days in office as encouraging.

According to the website: “Our words are not enough to explain the attributes this legend [Asad Umar] holds. With great power, comes great responsibilities and that’s exactly what Asad Umar took upon himself when he was sworn in as the Minister of Finance and Revenue. At the time when Pakistan’s economy was an all-time low, this iron-nerved man accepted the job where challenges like dwindling forex reserves, immediate load payments, record current deficit and gigantic balance of payment crisis, miserable economic conditions of state-owned enterprises are a few to name.”

It further says: “Fighting against all odds, Asad Umar and team has successfully managed to minimize the balance of payment crisis, brought tax reforms, introduced incentives for export industry, increased remittance and cut down on unnecessary imports. The hard work has already started to pay off as a decrease in trade deficit can be observed along with a significant increase in exports and numerous job opportunities has sprung up because of the revival of textile industry. If this is what we get from him within 100 days, wait and see where he’ll take the country in the next 5 year!”

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