ISLAMABAD  -  Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday constituted the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet with Finance Minister Asad Umar as its chairman.

The government constituted 12-member ECC, the country’s top decision-making body on economy. Prime Minister Khan delegated all economic and financial powers to Asad Umar by appointing him the ECC chairman.  The PTI-led federal government would notify chairmen for National Economic Council, Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC), Cabinet Committee on Privatisation and others in a couple of days.

Former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi headed all key economic committees, included ECC, during his tenure. However, former PM Nawaz Sharif had delegated all economic and financial powers to then finance minister Ishaq Dar. Ex-premier Yousuf Raza Gilani initially continued with this arrangement when Syed Naveed Qamar was finance minister. He, however, subsequently delegated the powers of the chairmanship of economic committees to former finance minister Shaukat Tarin.

Other members of the newly constituted ECC are minister for communications (when appointed), minister for law and justice, minister for national food security and research (when appointed), minister for petroleum, minister for power (when appointed),  minister for planning, development and reforms, minister for privatisation (when appointed), minister for railways, minister for statistics (when appointed), minister for water resources (when appointed), adviser on commerce, textile, industry, production and investment and adviser on institutional reforms and austerity.

The following would be invited by special invitation for all items of the agenda: Deputy Chairman Planning Commission (when appointed), governor, State Bank of Pakistan, chairman, Securities & Exchanges Commission of Pakistan, chairman, Board of Investment, commerce secretary, secretary, Communications Division, secretary, Economic Affairs Division, finance secretary, secretary, Industries and Production, secretary, National Food Security and Research, secretary, Planning and Development, secretary, Petroleum and Natural Resources Division, secretary, Power Division, secretary, Privatisation Division, railways secretary, revenue secretary, secretary, Statistics Division, secretary, Textile Industry and secretary, Water Resources Division.

Under the charter, the ECC considers all urgent economic matters and carries out coordination of economic policies initiated by various divisions of government. It also identifies and proposes measures for the gradual attainment of the status of a welfare state. The ECC maintains vigilance on the monetary and credit situation and makes proposals for the regulation of credit in order to maximise production and exports and prevent inflation. It determines the future pattern of growth of agriculture and industries.

The ECC reviews the country’s import policy and its effect on production and investment from time to time.

  According to the Charter, the ECC evaluate export performance from time to time in relation to specific policies and measures for the promotion of exports. It also watches the current price situation with a view to ensuring the stability of the prices of goods used by the common man. It also implementing the task assigned by the Cabinet from time to time. The ECC reviews cases of agreements and licensing for oil prospecting and exploration, overseeing the performance of important Autonomous Bodies and cases of Industrial sanctions where powers have not been delegated to subordinate authorities and also reviews tariff problems and cases involving fiscal anomalies.