Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday removed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar from his post as chairman of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, according to a notification issued by the Cabinet Division and acquired by DawnNews.

The newly-elected prime minister will serve as the chairman of the ECC after Dar's removal, the notification added. Dar will remain a member of the committee and will chair meetings of the ECC in case of Abbasi's absence.

Five ministries — railways, power, communications, statistics, water resources, and privatization — have also been added to the ECC.

The ECC has traditionally been chaired by the federal finance minister and the prime minister is not usually involved in its affairs. Its members include the ministers of 10 key federal ministries.

The ECC deliberates on economic matters of urgent importance and coordinates policies initiated by various divisions of the government. According to its charter, it also "maintains vigilance on the monetary and credit situation and make[s] proposals for the regulation of credit in order to maximize production and exports and to prevent inflation".

Other key responsibilities give it power over "cases of agreements and licencing for oil prospecting and exploration" and the revision of energy requirements and its effect on production and investment.

Dar's removal from the chairmanship of the ECC is one of the major decisions taken by Abbasi after being sworn in as prime minister on August 1.

The news comes as the National Accountability Bureau prepares to file a reference against Dar for possessing assets beyond his known sources of income in accordance with the Supreme Court's verdict that disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

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