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Pakistan did not breach IMF’s condition by slashing petrol price: Aisha Ghaus Pasha

Speculations regarding future of IMF deal have run rife ever since FinMin Ishaq Dar slashed price of petrol last week

By Web Desk
October 04, 2022
Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha. — Twitter/@AishaGPasha
Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha. — Twitter/@AishaGPasha

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has not breached any of the conditions laid forth by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the government reduced the price of petroleum products, assured Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha on Tuesday.

Speculations regarding the future of the IMF deal have run rife ever since Finance Minister Ishaq Dar slashed the price of petrol last week.

Since Dar was sworn in, he and his predecessor Miftah Ismail could not get along as both had a difference of opinion on the IMF deal and the phasing out of fuel subsidies.

Addressing the concerns, Pasha clarified that Pakistan had some space, which the government used to provide relief to the masses by slashing the petrol price by Rs12.63 per litre.

“We are still committed to the IMF programme,” she said, adding that the authorities wanted to provide the flood-weary masses with some relief without tampering with the IMF conditions.

She further added that government officials are scheduled to meet the Fund representatives in October where both sides will discuss things in detail.

Rupee-dollar dilemma 

Shedding light on the rupee-dollar fiasco, the state minister said that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is investigating the issue regarding the banks involved in currency manipulation.

“If any bank is found guilty, action will be taken according to the rules,” she added.

Earlier today, during the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, member Barjees Tahir questioned the authorities concerned about why the dollar was not being controlled.

He urged the representatives of eight commercial banks, which were issued show-caused notices for quoting higher dollar rates against the rupee, to share details.

Committee Chairman Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh said that rates in these eight banks were different therefore they would have earned four times more profit.

“What is the mechanism which is now being practised after the return of [Finance Minister] Ishaq Dar which wasn’t being practised before,” he questioned.

Replying to the questions, SBP’s deputy governor said that all other banks, excluding those eight, will be interrogated. “We plan to take action against these banks; however, we are waiting for the investigation to conclude,” the official said.

Earlier, the Senate Standing Committee on Finance had summoned the representatives of eight commercial banks that were issued show-cause notices by the central bank on suspicion of currency manipulation.