“Problems will continue to prevail until September,” says Miftah Ismail
KARACHI: In a bid to expand bilateral economic ties, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Saturday confirmed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was investing in the country’s stock exchange.
Earlier, the UAE expressed its intention to invest $1 billion in Pakistani companies in various economic and investment sectors. According to the Emirates News Agency, the move aims to explore new investment opportunities and areas for cooperation in projects across various sectors, so as to expand bilateral economic relations in the best interest of the two countries.
Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Miftah Ismail said the ban on the import of luxury items will continue till next month, as it is in the interest of the national economy.
He maintained that the national economy is moving in the right direction due to prudent policies of the government and steps are being taken to stabilise it.
Responding to a question about the rupee’s upward trajectory against the greenback, the finance minister clarified that neither the State Bank nor he had “directly intervened” to bring the dollar’s value down.
Criticising the previous PTI government, the minister said that the country’s imports last year stood at $80 billion while its exports were a mere $31 billion, adding that the current account deficit was $17.5 billion while the trade deficit stood at $18 billion.
The country's overall loan swelled to Rs42,000 billion from Rs25,000 billion during the PTI's tenure, he added.
“If you create such a wide deficit, there will be pressure on the rupee,” said the minister.
“Problems will continue to prevail until September,” he added.
Referring to the tough decision taken by his government, the minister said that after coming into power they had decided that they would not let the country default.
“The government has set the exports target at $35 billion for the current fiscal year,” he added.
Stressing the need for austerity measures, Miftah said that he feels shame while seeking loans from the world. He urged the nation to contribute to the Prime Minister's relief fund.