Monday December 11, 2023

Capping dollar rate caused $3bn loss: Miftah Ismail

Former finance minister Miftah Ismael said Thursday capping the price of dollar caused loss of $3 billion in remittances and exports

By News Desk
January 27, 2023
Former finance minister Miftah Ismael. APP
Former finance minister Miftah Ismael. APP

ISLAMABAD: Former finance minister Miftah Ismail said Thursday capping the price of dollar caused loss of $3 billion in remittances and exports.

Speaking in the Geo News programme “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath”, Miftah said the situation would have been better had the matter with IMF had been sorted out by the end of October, he said and added the 9th Review in Oct-Nov would have minimised the default risk. After that, there had been no justification of withdrawal of money by the World Bank, he remarked.

However, Miftah Ismael said, the government has taken positive steps to bring International Monetary Fund (IMF) back. He hoped the country will not default after the decision taken by the government. The IMF team will arrive in Pakistan on January 31 to hash out details of 9th Review

He observed prompt reaction by IMF shows the Fund is ready to go along with Pakistan. After the revival of the IMF programme, funds from the friendly countries will also pour in, he added.

Miftah said IMF wants the government uncap the prices of petrol, electricity and gas and increase their rate. “Everyone knows IMF would not talk to you unless you get the dollar float free”, he told the programme host.

IMF has come to the table, and now Pakistan have to show the world that it is capable of taking the right decisions, Miftah said. The government is saving dollars by not opening the LCs which is a hurdle in determining the actual value of dollar, he observed.

People in Pakistan are buying dollars not plots, former Finance Minister said, adding hoarding of dollars is a major problem of currency market.

Earlier, speaking in the Geo News programme “Geo Pakistan”, PMLNL leader Miftah Ismail slammed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar saying he doubted his ability to keep the economy afloat.

“I don’t know why Mr Dar was brought back, but Mr Dar thought he could run the country without International Monetary Fund”, Miftah said.

He said the attempt to run the country without help of the Fund resulted in harming Pakistan. The, government soon realised it has no option other than embracing the tough conditions of the global lender, he added.

He stated a “strange system” has been established in Pakistan under which a small section of elites makes all the decisions. “Every country is ahead of us, and the reason behind it is the fault in governance,” Miftah said. The governance system could never be fixed without the devolution of authority, he remarked.

He said the authorities need to create employment opportunities for the lower class. “We have seen the democratic system of government, presidential system and dictatorship as well,” he said, adding the elite system has to be abolished.

When asked about the recently started national dialogue and formation of a new political party, Miftah said he is still part of PMLN and has no plans to take part in the elections in the future.