On Wednesday, newly appointed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar stated exchange rate stability as his top priority, followed by lowering inflation and interest rates in order to restore the economy.
After taking the oath of the office for the fourth time, the minister warned that nobody would be permitted to play with the exchange rate.
Read more: Ishaq Dar sworn in as senator
He said, “the rupee is not in the right place right now”, mentioning that some speculators were involved in this game, which they should discontinue immediately. He expressed satisfaction that speculators had already made corrections in two days and that the rupee’s appreciation had reduced the debt by billions of rupees.
The return of Ishaq Dar
Dollar at interbank falls by Rs 3.12, trading at 229 pic.twitter.com/LIqVbttro8
— Saad (@PmlnWorks) September 29, 2022
He stated that central banks around the world had the authority to intervene in the market and that there were guidelines for doing so. Answering a question, he stated that it was a lie that the PML-N government burned dollars in the market to control the exchange rate. “There were no dollars, so how could one throw dollars?” he wondered.
Mr. Dar blamed that the PTI government’s turmoil with the value of the Pakistani rupee over the last four years resulted inflation, and that as a result of high inflation rates, interest rates were raised. Miftah Ismail, forerunner, he said, made a lot of effort based on his experience, but four years of devastation was of such magnitude that economic conditions could not be corrected in such a short time.
“Pakistan is currently facing the worst-ever economic conditions due to four years of mismanagement during the government of Imran Khan,” he said, adding that Mr. Khan believed in dropping bombs on the country if he was not in power and that what Mr. Khan had done to the country could not have been done by Pakistan’s enemies.
Mr. Dar stated that the PML-N government, led by Nawaz Sharif, had led the country out of crisis following the 1998 nuclear detonations and again in 2013, when Pakistan was labelled as ‘a macroeconomically unstable country,’ and put it on a path that international institutions expected Pakistan to be the 18th largest economy by 2030.
“We attempted to cut this period by four to five years. Had the country been allowed on that path, Pakistan would have been ahead of Italy and Canada by 2025-26 at number 18 instead of 54th place where it stands now because of the Panama(Papers) drama and similar other techniques and the country had to pay a hefty price,” he said, adding that despite three sit-ins, the country recorded 6.3pc growth rate, 4pc inflation rate, 2pc food inflation, a stable rupee, low interest rates, and highest revenue before PML-N period came to an end.
Mr. Dar claimed that Mr. Khan ruined the country not only during his four-year time in office, but also by bowing out of disowned sovereign agreements he had signed with international institutions in order to gain political mileage by misleading the people into believing he cared about their interests while telling his colleagues that he had successfully planted landmines.