ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s newly appointed finance minister, Ishaq Dar, stated on Wednesday that he intends to prioritize currency appreciation above inflation and interest rates.
The new finance and tax minister informed reporters after taking the oath of office for the fourth time that the country’s currency exchange rate would be off-bounds.
“This is not the proper location where the rupee is currently,” he said, adding that he was aware that certain speculators were playing this game and that they should cease immediately. He was pleased that speculators had made changes in just two days and that the rupee’s appreciation had helped pay down billions of dollars in debt. It’s time for the speculators to find their feet. My top objective is to increase the value of the rupee. We need to revitalize the economy, which means lowering inflation and interest rates.
He said that all central banks, regardless of location, had the obligation and power to intervene in the market in line with established rules. In answer to a question regarding whether the PML-N administration had burned money in the market to influence the currency rate, he responded that it was a gigantic lie. “How could one toss money when there were no dollars?” he wondered.
Imran is blamed for the economic catastrophe despite his rupee-strengthening and price-cutting policy.
Mr. Dar claimed that Pakistan’s inflation was caused by the PTI government’s mishandling of the country’s currency during the last four years, which resulted in higher interest rates. He stated that his predecessor, Miftah Ismail, had put in a lot of effort based on his knowledge, but that the economic situation was too bad after four years of devastation to be rapidly remedied. “He did everything he could and guaranteed the country that we would not default,” he said. He went on to explain that collaborative efforts will be used to build on those foundations.
He stated, “Pakistan is currently experiencing the worst-ever economic conditions owing to four years of mismanagement during Imran Khan’s regime,” who believed in dropping bombs on the country if he was not in power. He went on to remark that even if Pakistan’s opponents had desired it, Mr. Khan could not have done what he had done to Pakistan because of his four years in office.
The finance minister claimed that the PML-N government led by Nawaz Sharif had led the country out of a crisis following nuclear tests in 1998 and again in 2013, when Pakistan was declared a “macroeconomically unstable country,” and that international institutions now expected Pakistan to be the 18th largest economy by 2030.
We attempted to shave four or five years off that schedule. “Despite three sit-ins, Pakistan recorded 6.3 percent growth, 4 percent inflation, 2 percent food inflation, a stable rupee, low interest rates, and the highest revenue before the PML-N tenure came and the country had to pay a very heavy price because of the Panama (Papers) drama and similar other tactics, and the country is now ranked 54th, ahead of Italy and Canada by 2025-26,” he continued.
Mr. Dar claimed that Mr. Khan wrecked the country both during and after his four-year term in office by disowning sovereign agreements he had signed with international institutions for political gain, such as convincing the public that he was looking out for their best interests and boasting to his colleagues that he had successfully planted landmines.