Monday 20 May 2019
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The News - 5 days ago

Salman Shah appointed adviser to CM

LAHORE: Renowned economist and former adviser to prime minister on finance in Musharraf era, Salman Shah has been appointed adviser to Punjab chief minister on economic affairs and planning.Salman Shah has been accommodated as adviser to the chief minister after Akram Chaudhry one of the five advisers has stepped down as under the law, a chief minister can t have more than five advisers.Moreover, Akram Chaudhry, whose name was recommended through a summary for chairman Punjab Food Authority Tuesday night has declined to accept the responsibility while demanding a political role for himself. This is noteworthy that Salman Shah, who has previously served as finance minister in a caretaker setup as well as adviser on finance in the cabinet of former prime minister Shaukat Aziz has been assigned a new role in Punjab on special instructions from Prime Minister Imran Khan while keeping in view the upcoming Punjab budget. Salman Shah has also been attending various meetings chaired by the premier during his visits to Lahore.Out of total five advisers in the cabinet of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, three including Faisal Jaboana, Abdul Hai Dasti, and Mohammed Hanif are MPAs whereas Aun Chaudhry and Akram Chaudhry were amongst the unelected members. Sources said in order to accommodate Salman Shah in Punjab, the party leadership had requested the advisers if one of the five could voluntarily step down. The elected advisers of the Punjab government, however, didn t accept the request whereas Aun Chaudhry sought time from the chief minister and linked is decision with the consent of senior PTI leader Jehangir Tareen. Later, the name of Akram Chaudhry, who resigned, was floated to chief minister for approval as the Chairman of Punjab Food Authority.It is pertinent to mention that Akram Chaudhry s name is also associated with a famous food chain and a bakery in Lahore and his appointment could have also raised several eyebrows in and outside the party cadres over conflict of interest . However, Akram Chaudhry dispelled this impression. I am not relevant with any food business, said Akram Chaudhry.He said he had no direct link with the bakery and it was his family which was looking after that business whereas he was doing entirely different work. He also said he had not accepted the offer to become PFA chairman as it could have compromised his political work. He said it was a three year contract and he wanted to serve as a political worker. He said neither he was interested in drawing salary nor any chairmanship as he was only a political worker and wanted to serve through politics.

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