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Pakistan needs not to approach IMF: Finance Minister

Pakistan needs not to approach IMF: Finance Minister

KARACHI: Pakistan presently holds no intention to approach International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is exercising all its capacities to stabilize the foreign exchange reserves, said State Minister for Finance, Rana Muhammad Afzal.

He said the country currently holds a foreign reserves of US dollar 19.7 billion and is also able to control its trade deficit. “Since stability is rampant there is no need for any disconcert,” said the state minister in most categorical terms emphasizing that the financial managers of the country are not contemplating to contact IMF in foreseeable future.

“We, however, can always keep our doors open to all possible options,” he said. Rana Muhammad Afzal re-emphasized that the projects and programmes envisaged by PML-N government are producing desired results and the top most is meeting the challenge of stable foreign exchange reserves.

“Our exports during the first five months of the current fiscal year have grown by 17.5%,” he claimed.

The State Minister also reiterated that foreign exchange reserves that stood by US $ 7 billion to US $ 8 billion in 2013 have now reached to $19.7 billion. “Its is our earnest desire that the next government of the country may inherit a strong reserve equivalent to a minimum three months import bill,” he said.

Rana Muhammad Afzal said the effort is definitely possible as the trade deficit that was 79% in July 2017 was contained to 39% and further controlled by 11% in November last year. He expressed his confidence that this may further decline to negligible levels in the coming months of current financial year.

The State Minister for Finance said Pakistan has also not defaulted in repayments of its loans and this has markedly raised its credibility among the international community.

To a query, he said no sane individual can deny relevance of transparency and accountability, however, these must not be used as tool to hinder the process of national development and prosperity.

“Our achievements are being internationally acknowledged,” he said. With regard to recent USA based statements, he said these have been taken seriously and are being reviewed at the right forum for a befitting response.

“Pressure is being deliberately raised upon Pakistan although the world in general must understand that Pakistan has rendered maximum sacrifices in the ongoing global war against terrorism,” he said.

The state minister said Pakistan does not stand isolated as China along with European community have largely stood by it and do appreciate Pakistan’s contribution in countering terrorism related challenges.

In reply to a question, he said recent hike in the cost of petrol and petroleum products was linked to international market adding that this has significantly surged due to demand of fuel in many parts of world experiencing unpredented cold.