A day after taking oath of office, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday summoned an urgent meeting of economic experts to discuss the current financial challenges facing the country.
Shehbaz was elected the 23rd prime minister of Pakistan on Monday after his predecessor, Imran Khan, was removed from office through a no-confidence vote on Sunday.
Assuming his responsibilities, the prime minister presided over a meeting attended by prominent economists and deliberated on ways and means to find a solution for the country's financial stability.
PM Shehbaz issued directives for formulating financial proposals on an emergency basis to address the current economic situation in the country. The proposals would be devised in line with consultation with stakeholders in areas including agriculture, trade, investment, and banking.
A summit would also be held in the next few days to discuss the suggestions of the economic experts.
The prime minister additionally decided to form a National Economic Advisory Council to be comprised of independent financial experts.
In view of the challenging economic situation, he directed the setting up of medium and long-term fiscal policies and also stressed the presentation of comprehensive policy options to overcome inflation.
The premier emphasised a reduction in prices of daily-use commodities and essential items, particularly during the month of Ramazan.
He also stressed the need for maintaining a balance between the national and public interests.
The finance secretary gave a briefing to the prime minister on the economic situation, revenues, budget deficit, and loans besides the overall national balance sheet.
Assuming office at PMO
Earlier in the day, the premier arrived at the Prime Minister's House where he was presented with a guard of honour. He reviewed the guard of honour as the contingents of the armed forces presented a salute to him and was introduced to the officials and staff of the PM House.
Shehbaz assumed his responsibilities at the Prime Minister's Office at 8am — much earlier than the Ramazan working hours of 10am — and said he did not want to waste an iota of time without serving the masses, according to state-run Associated Press of Pakistan.
He termed diligence, honesty, and transparency as his guiding principles and said serving the people of Pakistan was his topmost priority.
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During an interaction with his staff, the prime minister directed the officials to get into action for robust performance.
He ordered a single weekly off for public departments instead of the earlier two days. Also, public offices would from now onwards open at 8am.
Soon after assuming office, PM Shehbaz issued directives to ensure relief for the masses, including the provision of low-cost edible items at Sasta bazaars, and also stressed its strict monitoring.
He said he would not tolerate any irresponsibility in ensuring the provision of inexpensive commodities to the general public.
The premier also ordered the officials concerned to ensure early implementation of his decisions announced in the National Assembly on Monday regarding the 10 per cent increase in pensions and fixing the minimum wages at Rs 25,000.
Meetings with political allies
The prime minister also met with his political allies today and paid a visit to Islamabad's Zardari House to meet with PPP leaders.
He discussed the political situation with PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari.
The prime minister also met with other coalition allies including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan officials and more including MNA Mohsin Dawar.
The prime minister thanked his allies for their support in his nomination and election and consulted with them on the formation of his cabinet.
"We will move forward with the same spirit and mutual trust through which we have reached this destination.
"We will walk in the spirit of unity, consultation and cooperation. Together we will solve problems and fulfil promises," he said in his talks with the leaders of the allied parties.
The prime minister will also make a one-day visit to Karachi on Wednesday where he will chair a consultative meeting on development projects.
He, along with the leaders of allied parties, will pay his respects at Quaid-i-Azam's mausoleum. The purpose of the visit to the mausoleum is to reaffirm adherence to the principles laid down by the nation's founder regarding the country's progress and prosperity.