Friendly countries help in overcoming economic crisis – Finance Minister
Asad Umar said that Pakistan’s economic crisis has been successfully overcome with the help of friendly countries.
The 11th South Asia Economic Summit organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad has been held on Tuesday.
Addressing the Summit:
While inaugurating the Summit, the Finance Minister said that all the fundamental economic indicators are now improving with exports and the imports are decreasing. The current account deficit is also being overcome gradually.
“Gap for the current fiscal year has been plugged and the fruits of government’s vibrant economic policies will soon be visible.”
During his address to the participants of the summit, the finance minister lamented that spreading rumors about the state of the national economy.
The Finance Minister said there will be no compromise on the independence of the State Bank of Pakistan, adding that it will further be institutionalized.
“The state bank’s neutrality is intact and we believe in this. There is no change in the policy of the PTI government, SBP would remain autonomous.”
The decision regarding the exchange rate was taken by SBP and it would continue to take such decisions, Umar stated further.
Referring to economic cooperation with other SAARC countries, the finance minister expressed his disappointment by the attitude shown by India.
“The response from the Indian side is unfortunate. We hope that this SAARC cooperation will be strengthened in the future.”
He said that we really need to think out of the box solutions, amid tensions and political confrontations between the two states.
The Minister said that the country’s growth driver is intra-regional trade, especially between India and Pakistan.
“Our ability to meet the need of the people and getting people out of poverty depends on promotion the intra-regional trade and taking steps in the right direction”.
For this to happen, we can create political space, the Minister said, adding that leaders need to take bold decisions.
“For a peaceful and prosperous South Asia, we need to cooperate with each other,” reiterated the finance minister.
The Katarpur Corridor:
Referring to the recent opening of the visa-free Kartarpur corridor, Umar said that the response to the initiative from India was dismal, which was not hoped for.
While reiterating on Pakistan’s willingness to engage India in dialogue for resolution of outstanding issues, he said, “Pakistan is hopeful for a positive response from India.”
The above remarks came a day after the dollar went through a roller coaster ride. It fell sharply by Rs2.5 on Monday morning, only a day after recording its largest intraday gain of Rs9.5.
The PTI government will not change its policy and there will be no compromise on the independence of SBP. The govt is willing to improve it more.
As per a statement released by the Ministry of Finance in October, the PTI government inherited 6.6% of the fiscal deficit.
Source: Express Tribune