Pakistan

Reduction in USD value influenced by 'market factors': Miftah


Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Saturday said the government has taken measures to stabilise the economy and the reduction in the dollar's value was influenced by 'market factors'.

He added that the central bank or the government had not "directly intervened" to reduce the greenback's value.

Speaking at a ceremony in Karachi, the finance minister said the import of items which support exported items has been allowed.

During his visit to Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Friday, Miftah announced that the government will continue its policy of limiting imports for the next three months.

At the PSX ceremony, the finance minister said “we do not want growth without exports. Growth is only favourable when it is export-oriented.”

The minister today stated that the national economy was moving in the right direction due to the government’s prudent policies and that steps are being taken to further stabilise it.

Solving the country’s economic crisis and addressing the problems of the business community is a top priority, the finance minister assured. He urged the business community to cooperate with the government in its efforts to stabilise the economy.

He also assured that the government had not stopped payments on letters of credit that had been opened earlier and would not do so in the future while reassuring the business community.

Referring to the withdrawal of subsidies on petroleum products and power, he said it was needed in order to bring Pakistan's economy on the right track.

Earlier, Miftah had said the risk of Pakistan’s default on international payments is fading with every passing day, as tough decisions like an increase in energy prices have cut imports and slashed demand for foreign exchange.

The elevated import payments and debt repayments had caused a fast depletion of foreign exchange reserves to the critical level of less than two months of import cover at $8.3 billion. This caused a historically large devaluation of the rupee against the US dollar in July and raised the possibility of default on international payments.

The rupee has steadily continued to recover as the supply of foreign currency increased consistently compared to its demand. Pakistani currency maintained its uptrend for the sixth successive working day, as it further gained 0.94% (or Rs2.11) to close at Rs224.04 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Friday.

Miftah is optimistic, stating that the worst has passed and things are looking up for the economy ahead.


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