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August 15, 2019

State Bank governor sees green shoots in economy

Business

August 15, 2019

KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir on Wednesday said the country’s fiscal, as well as economic situation was on the mend, showing slow, but steady improvement in the face of a myriad of internal and external challenges.

“Our economic sector is somewhat frail. Inflation and unemployment are on the rise. Uncertainty has gripped the people at large. However, I believe by reigniting a Pakistan-movement-like spirit we can turn

the tide,” Baqir said, while addressing an

event held in connection with the 73rd Independence Day celebrations at the SBP

headquarters.

“…we have finally started moving towards the right direction and if we stayed that course we will soon succeed in achieving the desired progress and prosperity.”

The central bank governor said the plan the country’s economic team was working on was bringing about stability in the country. “The situation has been stabilised by far and on its basis we will be able to achieve an economic growth, whose benefits will be mostly reaped by lower income and middle-class segments of the society,” Baqir said.

The governor said in his 20-year experience of working with international financial institutions like World Bank and International Monetary Fund, he had learnt that fighting economic crises was no less than a ‘mission impossible' for any nation.

“Only those countries that continue to move forward against the headwinds with unflinching determination succeed with their

policies and reforms. In other words sustaining the policies is the biggest challenge. And if

we succeeded in pulling off this feat then there’s no doubt our future is bright,” Baqir said.

Talking about the early days, he said right after the independence this beautiful country was besieged by many serious problems relating to monetary governance as there was no state bank at that time and Reserve Bank of India was in control of our money supply and it was a big issue.

He said after the establishment of state bank in 1948, Pakistan printed its first banknote, which was a declaration of its economic independence and sovereignty.

“The banknote that you have in your pocket today is a symbol of our independence just

like the national flag,” the state bank governor said.

Baqir said the SBP was an esteemed and extremely important institution of the country. “Despite all the difficulties, the central bank has played a big role in taking the economy to new heights,” he said, adding the vibrant banking sector of the country was also a result of the indefatigable efforts of the present and former state bankers.

He exhorted on the SBP officials to resolve to continue doing their bit in building a strong Pakistan.

“We must take a vow to take the country forward as a lot of milestones are yet to be achieved,” the governor said.

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