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$1.3 billion expected from China in coming days, Ishaq Dar

ISLAMABAD (our reporter):- Finance Minister Ishaq Dar ruled out imposing financial emergency in the ongoing situation and said that the Premier Shehbaz Sharif led government has saved Pakistan from default through its clear road-map and policy of revival of economy.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday in a press conference said that the government is not considering imposing financial emergency in the country.

Finance minister also said that “We have never defaulted and we won’t now however we were in a precarious situation and are going through it currently.” he added. The government of Pakistan has paid every liability to global financial institutions in time.

He also claimed that the external financing gape is around $5 to $6 billion instead of $8 billion for the current fiscal year which will be met with the help of International Monetary Fund.

External financing was not the prior action of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) adding that the Finance minister said that Pakistan was expecting $1.3 billion in financing from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) in the coming days.

China has given proof of great friendship and the government will also receive $950 million in one project soon and “I am confident that by June 30 we will take the State Bank’s reserves to $10bn and national reserves near to $16bn.”

Regarding the Pakistani rupee’s depreciation against the dollar and reports of an artificial price cap, the Finance minister said that “We did not inject liquidity into the forex market,” and there was no “question of us intervening or us having any capacity for it considering how low our reserves went”.

State Bank of Pakistan independently decides matters regarding monetary policy as well as exchange rate after its autonomy law passed by Parliament in the last government tenure, he added.

He also revealed that we have also reported that $2 billion on an annual basis are being smuggled from South to Peshawar in vans and we are devising a mechanism to control this.

Ishaq Dar said the current government had made a “principled decision” whether to save the state or its own politics around the time of last year’s vote of no confidence against Imran .

The state’s interest was prioritised over political interests at the time, adding that it was the “right decision”, he added

Finance minister also said that the state will be affected if we do not conduct the matters with conscience.

Expressing his surprise and concerns over Khan’s continuous criticism of the coalition government, he said: “I am unable to understate whether Imran Khan has a problem in his leg or brain.”

Instead of protecting the national interest, PTI’s leadership tried to sabotage the IMF deal, Dar said.

“They keep going on and on about default but their ministers called their provincial finance ministers who don’t allow the IMF matter to be resolved,” Dar added.

The finance minister said Imran’s attitude was “selfish”, adding that oppositions around the world worked together with the government on national issues.

Instead of coming together to come up with ways of steering Pakistan through the crisis, he said Imran was only concerned about “how can I criticise the government, ” he added.

He also said that the PTI chairman’s statements adversely affect the country’s financial markets.

He added that “mismanagement and bad governance” were the reasons for Pakistan’s current scenario.

The finance minister then went on to discuss key economic indicators during the PTI’s government and where it left them.

“If you look at the indicators in 2013 and then 2018-2020 then Pakistan was at different stages,” Dar said, adding that Pakistan was currently passing through the remaining effects of the PTI government’s economic indicators.

The finance minister also attributed the financial losses arising from last year’s catastrophic floods as being majorly responsible for the country’s issues, adding that over $30 billion loss was suffered.

“Our requirement for the next three to four years is for $16bn or Rs4,000bn.” and he also said that international donors shall give project-linked loans for mitigating the suffering of flood effects.

He also said that global inflationary pressure was a major reason for rising inflation in the country.

The finance minister said the government had a “roadmap” and policies for taking the country out of the current “quagmire”, adding, however, that they could not be made public.

Regarding the progress of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout programme, Dar said all prior actions demanded by the Fund were fulfilled.

Ishaq Dar said that i fully endorse the idea of forming a commission consisting of independent experts to probe who is responsible for this Economic mess.

He also replied that why should i tender resignation adding that the Prime Minister and Cabinet fully trust me and institutions are also supporting us.

One other question with regard to failing to take timely decisions by the PDM government on economic matters, the Finance Minister said that “no one can blame me for inaction as I have taken all the decisions timely”.

He also said that “Why should i give answer on those matters which have been done before my tenure adding that he said that I do not want to give answer to former FM Miftah Ismail.

He was working under me in the Board of Investment, he added.

Finance minister Ishaq Dar also replied that the legal team will decide about filing a review petition on apex court judgement on elections in Punjab and KP.

We have estimated that the Election Commission will need additional Rs15 billion in case elections held seperately- means ECP first held election in Punjab and KP and then after a few months, it again conducts elections of other provinces as well as National Assembly.

He said that we do not have money as we recently gave money for the ongoing Census.

While attributing the KP Governor, he said that elections cannot be held in KP due to the Law and order situation.

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