Abdul Hafeez Shaikh is the son of Abdul Nabi Sharks who played an important role in forming Pakistans Peoples Party with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. He was born in Jacobabad of Sindh Province of West-Pakistanand moved to United States for higher education. Shaikh enrolled in the Department of Economics of the Boston University and obtained an MS in Economics followed by a PhD in the same discipline in December 1984. He has authored many publications including a book on Argentina’s privatisation program.
In the United States, Shaikh joined the faculty staff of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he led research project for his doctoral students at Harvard. While at Harvard, he also advised several countries on their economic policies and programs.
Career in the World BankEdit
As early as the 1990s, Shaikh left Harvard University and joined the staff of World Bank to start his international career. Subsequently, Shaikh became chairman of World Bank’s economic initiatives and operations in Saudi Arabia and served as an International investment senior official advising 21 countries including Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Romania, Czech Republic, Iran, Kuwait, Argentina, Bangladesh, Jordan, Qatar, Malta, Botswana, Tanzania, Ghana and Libya.
Minister of Finance, Planning and DevelopmentEdit
He was the architect of the financial recovery of Sindh, restoring financial discipline, reducing taxes, increasing revenues, paying over Rs. 20 billion of old bills, clearing the overdraft of State Bank of Pakistan of Rs. 11 billion, increasing allocation for poverty alleviation, social sector and development, and enhancing relationship of Sindh Government with international donor agencies.
Minister for Privatization & InvestmentEdit
In 2002, Dr. Shaikh elevated to the Federal Ministry of Finance (MoF) and joined the department of privatisation. On 8 April 2003, Dr. Shaikh became the minister of privatisation and investment in the Government of Pakistan.
His three years as the Federal Minister for Privatization & Investment were the most successful in Pakistan’s history. 34 transactions worth over US $5 billion were completed in a transparent fashion. Using the slogan of “Privatization for the People”, shares in several companies were given to 0.8 million people, creating broad ownership. The period saw foreign direct Investment increase from $1 Billion to $5 Billion. Dr. Shaikh was awarded Pakistan’s “Man of the Year” in 2004 by the business community in recognition of his contributions to the country. He left the Government in early 2006.
Minister of FinanceEdit
As Finance Minister in early 2011, Shaikh met with US Senator John Kerry when Kerry visited Pakistan. Shaikh briefed Kerry, who is Chair of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on economic developments, delays in getting aid through the Kerry-Lugar Bill (2009) and continued needs for flood rehabilitation. While in Washingtonfor the International Monetary Fund/World Bankspring meetings later that year, Shaikh delivered a similar message about Kerry-Lugar-Berman funding while also addressing prospective investments in the energy sector, possibly by the US, the government’s general economic program and, specifically, Parliament‘s role therein, and, finally, inconclusive negotiations on two IMF instalments totalling $3.3 billion. One venue for Shaikh’s comments was an event at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
On 31 May 2012, Federal Minister for Finance, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on the eve of historic “election budget” for the fiscal year 2012–13 said that economically this had been the most difficult year for the whole world. The Economic Survey of Pakistan for the outgoing year 2011–12 will be launched here today. Federal Minister for Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh will launch the pre-budget document, highlighting the overall performance of economy during the out-going fiscal year, providing a realistic feedback and basis for planning.
On 1 June 2012, the prevailing energy crisis in Pakistan is taking away 2 percent (or Rs 380 billion) of the economy, despite the government has spent Rs 1.1 trillion as subsidies on the sector in the last four-year which accounts for 2.5 percent of the total volume of economy. This was the ‘dominant constraint’ to the economic growth in last few years, according to Pakistan Economic Survey 2011–12 launched here by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.