August 05, 2022 (MLN): The Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mr. Miftah Ismail on Friday termed the allegation of commercial banks' involvement in speculation in the interbank market “incorrect”.
During an interactive session with the capital market participants to address matters concerning the growth and development of the Pakistani Stock Exchange (PSX), he said, “Nobody knew dollar to race higher.”
However, with import curb, PKR saw a massive recovery and it will see further respite in days to come.
He also added that he would not allow imports to rise for three months and, in the meantime, the government will come up with a policy.
“I understand that growth will be reduced for a bit but I have no other choice,” he noted.
Pakistan's merchandise trade deficit for the month of July 2022 clocked in at $2.64 billion compared to a deficit of $4.96bn in the preceding month, narrowed by 46.77% MoM.
Pakistan’s import bill in FY21 stood at $80bn while the trade deficit was more than $40bn. “No country could afford such a huge current account deficit,” he underlined.
He talked about the current progress of the economy while saying so he highlighted that the present government faced upheaval challenges while unreeling the energy subsidy and imposed new measures to broaden the tax base to unlock the IMF tranche as soon as possible.
Dr. Esther Perez Ruiz, IMF’s Resident Representative for Pakistan on Wednesday said, "Pakistan has completed all prior actions for loan review."
She went on to say that the country has met its last prior action of the IMF for the combined 7th and 8th review after increasing the petroleum development levy (PDL).
Expressing his views on depleting foreign exchange reserves that the country needed to boost its reserves with long-term stability. He also added that the present condition where the government had to ask for money from other countries was no fun.
With regards to the availability of petrol and diesel, he noted that the country has a stock of 30 days for diesel and petrol while furnace oil is available for six months.
He also agreed to review the proposals and recommendations of PSX, adding that to evaluate the development and progress of the capital market, he will continue visiting PSX quarterly.
Talking about the fixed tax regime on electricity bills of shopkeepers, he said, “We estimated that tax on traders to be imposed by Rs3,000 but we made mistake because numerous shops/businesses are of very small in size.
Considering several proposals about fixed tax on shopkeepers, the federal government has deferred the fixed tax regime on electricity bills for one year.
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