Foreign reserves enough to meet payments, PML-N govt’s budget ‘unrealistic’: Dr Shamshad Akhtar


ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Minister for Finance, Planning, Development and Reforms Dr Shamshad Akhtar Thursday said, currently foreign exchange reserves of the country stood at $10.230 billion and there was no issue of the foreign payments.

However, pressure on foreign payments would rise during the next quarter of the current financial year, she said talking to media after attending a seminar on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Interim Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar also termed the 2018 budget by former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government as unrealistic.

Speaking to media here, Akhtar said that facts and figures in the budget are a matter of concern.

She also commented on the prevalent economic conditions, saying that work on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) project is underway and the incoming government would be apprised about the same.

The event was organised by Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms to highlight the state of different indexes and steps being taken to achieve the goals set under SDGs for the uplift of the common man in the country.

The minister said working on a program with International Monitory Fund was in progress and the incoming government would be apprised about the whole situation.

She said that collaboration with IMF was important to further strengthen the economic indicators and it was not appropriate to term the IMF program as a bailout package.

Replying to a question, she said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a developmental program and it has no relation to the IMF.

Earlier, addressing the seminar, Dr Shamshad Akhtar said that the SDGs help in collecting data about different indicators for proper policy formulation to ensure the development and welfare of the common man in the country.

She said that participation of local communities through non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) and local government system was pre-requisite to achieve the SDGs and the Sindh government had taken several significant steps for development of community organisations.

Dr Shamshad Akhtar said that national economy was passing through a crucial phase as current account deficit and fiscal deficit were at the highest point in the economic history of the country.

She stressed the need for rationalising the resources among the federation and provinces and called for the capacity building of the provincial governments and putting responsibilities on them for rapid soc-economic development.

The minister also stressed the need for taking appropriate steps to ensure practical implementation of SDGs for socio-economic uplift of the people.