Islamabad: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has said the trade fundamentals have been corrected as a result of measures taken by the present government over the last few months.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, he said there has been reduction in imports during this period. He said this has helped create a balance between imports and exports and remittances.
The Finance Minister pointed out that the trade deficit was forty eight billion dollars and Current Account Deficit stood at seventeen billion dollars during the last fiscal year, which, he stressed, the country cannot afford.
Miftah Ismail said an agreement has been signed with the IMF, categorically stating that the government will implement it. He said the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have also opened their financing for Pakistan following our agreement with the IMF.
He said some friendly countries have also assured to help Pakistan meet its financing gap. Giving details of the assistance, he said one friendly country has pledged to provide oil worth 1.2 billion dollars on deferred payment. He said one friendly country has expressed interest to invest in Pakistan Stock Market whilst another has shown interest to provide gas worth 2.4 billion dollars to Pakistan on deferred payment.
Miftah Ismail one friendly country will deposit two billion dollars with State Bank of Pakistan whilst another will provide two billion SDRs.
The Finance Minister said we also want to sell out Balloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah Power Plants.
Miftah Ismail said the economy is on the right trajectory, saying there has been improvement in tax collection. We will enhance tax to GDP ratio and reduce the budget deficit during the current fiscal year. He was confident that the issue of inflation will also be tackled in the next two to three months.
Responding to a question, the Finance Minister said dollar has appreciated against other currencies of the world as well. He however said the recent dip of rupee against dollar was due to the political situation in the country. He said the situation will move towards normalization after improvement in political situation in the next few days.