December 2, 2020

PM Approves Formation Of National Development Council (NDC) And A Committee On The Charter Of Economy (COE)

PTI is now realizing that it supports is shrinking and it will be an increasingly difficult task to get major decisions passed from the National Assembly and has started efforts to bring all stakeholders on one page.

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Khusro Bakhtiar has proposed to the government and the opposition to sign a Charter of Economy (COE) to prevent Pakistan’s return to the IMF.

The PM, knowing that he needs all the support he can get, has agreed to set up the committee.

Shehbaz Shareef and Asif Zardari introduced the COE. However, Maryam Nawaz said that the COE was a joke. Commenting on this Khawaja Asif said that the party would not come to any conclusions before the political scenario improves.

PTI has been facing continuous harsh criticism over its economic performance and is seeking measures to gain more support. For this purpose, it is working on forming the committee on COE and on the formation of a high-powered body, the National Development Council (NDC).

The NDC will comprise of the COAS General Qamar Bajwa, the Chief Ministers of the four provinces, Gilgit, Baltistan and Azad Kashmir and important federal ministers, with Prime Minister Imran Khan being the head of the Council.

The Council’s focus would be to improve the macroeconomic situation of Pakistan. Its mandate would include the following:

  1. To set policies and strategies for development.
  2. Formulate and tailor policies to achieve accelerated economic growth.
  3. Approve long term planning for national and regional connectivity.
  4. Provide guidelines for Regional Corporation.

Critics argue that the formation of NDC is an extra-constitutional step. Former Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said that “You cannot override Article 156 of the constitution through a notification for creating an extra-constitutional organ having functions parallel to a constitutional institution”. Furthermore, Rabbani fears that the role of defense personnel in economic decisions might expose the military to criticism.

It is becoming increasingly clear that PTI alone cannot solve the economic problems being faced by Pakistan. It will require collective efforts from all the stakeholders of the society to create a major positive impact.

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