Pakistan not breaching IMF accord: Pasha

Our Correspondent
October 05, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha informed the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance on Tuesday that the government did not breach any agreement with the IMF by...

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Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha. — Twitter/AishaGPasha

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha informed the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance on Tuesday that the government did not breach any agreement with the IMF by not jacking up the petroleum development levy on POL products.

The NA Standing Committee on Finance and Revenues met under the chairmanship of PMLN MNA Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh here at the Parliament House on Tuesday. Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha informed the committee that the government had imposed more petroleum levy during the tenure of former finance minister Miftah Ismail, which was now rationalised to provide relief to the inflation-stricken masses.

The Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Jamil Ahmed, told the NA panel that the inquiry against eight banks involved in earning lofty profits because of the steep fall of the rupee against the dollar in the exchange rate was near completion. The NA panel recommended the government and SBP for taking stern action against those banks and exchange companies found involved in currency manipulation and minting lofty profits.

The governor SBP told the committee that currently 10 to 12 per cent of imports were curbed, keeping in view the scarcity of dollars which would be allowed after taking a detailed review. Mostly, machinery’s import is being curbed and it will be lifted when the economic situation gets improved. He said that the import curbs would be lifted once the macroeconomic fundamentals become better.

The NA panel also considered Mozarba Companies Amended Bill 2022 and referred it to a four-member sub-committee constituted under the chairmanship of Barjees Tahir. The chairman of the NA panel said that only big and influential people secured loans from the SBP schemes during the Covid-19 pandemic while Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) were largely ignored. Only 7 per cent of the loans were disbursed among SMEs while 93 per cent of loans were provided to big industrialists.

Barjees Tahir asked why the rupee started strengthening against the US dollar after the return of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who had stated that he would bring it down below Rs200 against the dollar. He said that he was proud of Ishaq Dar but he was interested to know about the mechanism of exchange rate movement. The governor SBP replied that the central bank was doing work in consultation with the government.



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