Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Sunday said that the Pakistani rupee, which has seen a fast downward trajectory against the US dollar in recent weeks, should gain some strength “in the two weeks”.
Addressing a press conference to speak about Pakistan’s economic path forward.
The finance minister said,
“I really think — although I never like to speculate on the currency market — but I really think that the rupee’s true value is far greater [than what it is right now]”
Explaining the depreciation of the rupee, he said that Pakistan had to part with “a billion and another billion”, which put a lot of pressure on the local currency.
Ismail said that efforts are underway to restore the balance of the currencies.
“With our efforts to reduce imports and Insha’Allah, with the daily rise in incoming dollars versus a decline in outgoing units, there will be a surplus [of dollars]”
“This will lead to a reduced pressure [on the rupee] and the dollar’s value against the rupee should then see a slight drop,” the minister added.
Being optimistic about the next two weeks, he cautioned that this is his view but believes “the fundamentals are in Pakistan’s favor”.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has recommended removing the ban on imports. Though if approved, several items will no longer be banned but things like imported cars, mobile phones and home appliances will still have a ban
Current Account to Achieve Surplus in a Year
Ismail said that the current account is being managed in a way as to achieve a surplus, “In the short term, we reduced imports and now over the next two to three months, we will increase exports,” he said.
‘Priority Only to Save Pakistan From Default’
In response to a question on the rising inflation, Ismail said: “It is the prime objective of every finance minister to curb inflation and focus on growth. My number one priority has never been to control inflation or to bring growth. My priority has only been to save Pakistan from default.”
The Basic Blame Game Strategy
As he talked about the ruins of the economy and financial elements, Ismail continued to blame the previous government on many accounts.
He mentioned that the PTI-led government increased the country’s debt by Rs20,000 billion of 79% in their time in the government.
Blaming the PTI government he said, “the policies of Shaukat Tareen and Imran Khan have a big hand” in it. He added that the previous government was behind the country’s “four biggest budget deficits”.