Tuesday December 06, 2022

Tricks with currency not to be allowed: Dar

Dar says government would try its best to revive the economy

September 29, 2022
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. —PID
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. —PID

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday said no one would be allowed to play tricks with the Pakistani currency. The rupee showed an improvement in the last two days and would be strengthened in the days ahead.

Talking to reporters outside the Ministry of Finance after taking oath of office, Dar said there was an import-induced price hike and the exchange rate depreciation played havoc by further hiking inflationary pressures. The rupee got destroyed that resulted in hiking inflationary pressures. He said the nation was facing challenging situations and they had accepted and overcome such challenges in the past.

Earlier, President Dr Arif Alvi administered the oath of office to Dar at a ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also attended the ceremony. Dar told reporters that when the PMLN left power in 2018, the country’s GDP growth stood at 6.3 per cent and inflation was in the single digit. If there were no sit-ins, the GDP growth might have touched 7.5 per cent during the last tenure of the PMLN government.

Pakistan, he said, became an atomic power, so why it could not become an economic power. He said the exchange rate depreciation resulted in price hike in the country and then the interest rates also went up. It was a wrong allegation that they had utilised foreign exchange reserves to keep the rupee artificially stable. He said the central banks intervened within certain benchmarks.

Dar said his government would try its best to revive the economy which had been critically damaged during the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government’s tenure. He said that regaining the deserving value of the country’s currency, bringing down inflation and reducing interest rates were among his priorities. He said Pakistan was facing a severe economic crisis currently due to four years of mismanagement by the PTI government pushed the economy to a critical place, which even enemies could not have done. He lamented that the PTI government had not only damaged the economy but also wasted five precious years of the country and pushed it 30 years behind.

However, Dar was optimistic that the country would be put back on the growth path as the PMLN had a history of correcting the economy during crises in the past. “As a nation, we had challenges, we have faced them with success in the past,” he said while citing the examples of the economic restrictions following the nuclear tests of 1998 and declared macroeconomic instability of 2013.

“I will not make verbal promises only,” he said and reminded people of the PMLN history which left the government in 2018 with the lowest Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation of 4 per cent, food inflation 2 per cent, the highest growth rate of 6.3 per cent, the highest reserves, interest rate at 6.25 per cent and the stable exchange rate of Rs 104.50 against the dollar,” he said, adding that this all was done despite three sit-ins during the period which had affected the growth rate; otherwise, the figures could have touched 7.5 per cent.

He said had the country been allowed to grow at the same pace, it would have been poised to become the 18th largest economy by 2025-26 instead of 2030, leaving Italy and Canada behind. However, it was pushed to the 54th position. He said that becoming the 18th economy, the country could have enjoyed becoming part of the G-20 world premium club, but everything was ruined.

To a question, he said Miftah Ismail was a part of the PMLN economy team and had played a good role in saving the country from default. The damages of around four years were very huge and could not be corrected in just six months. He said the rupee had already started gaining its value, adding that the country was facing an imported inflation. He clarified that the case against him for not filing income tax returns for 20 years (1981-2001) was baseless as he had been regularly filing the same for over 40 years. He lamented that the culprits were roaming freely whereas the right persons were facing difficulties.

He said his passport was cancelled by the PTI government. However, when the incumbent government issued him a passport two and a half months ago, he decided to travel back to Pakistan. He said a UK court and even Interpol had acquitted him of all charges levelled by the PTI. It was time for prosperity.


    Dr T commented 2 months ago

    All talk but no walk. In power more than 3x already and nothing to show for it. Continue dreaming the dream because that’s all it is.

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