ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umar Thursday said it was possible for Pakistan to manage its financial crisis and improving its economy without approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan.
Talking to a private news channel, he said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government was receiving a financial package from Saudi Arabia unconditional and on the minimum interest rate, 3 per cent.
Replying to a question about inflation in the country, he said the government would not increase prices of electricity and gas for low-income earners. Responding to another question, he said there was a huge increase in the country’s exports volume in December, but Pakistan’s current dollar reserves, which stand at $7.2 billion, are not enough to repay our foreign loans.
Meanwhile, Minister for Finance Asad Umer here on Thursday said that due to corrective measures introduced by the current government for bringing stabilization in the national economy, the economic indicators had started showing resilience.
During the first half of current financial year, exports of the country increased, imports decreased and remittances were increased as compared to the corresponding period of last financial year, the minister said while talking to the anchor persons of different TV channels at Ministry of Finance.
The minister said the government had decided to introduce some structural reforms to correct the fundamentals of the national economy for bringing long term development and stabilization.
Due to these reforms, current account deficit had also registered decreasing trend and was significantly reduced which would help to reduce the pressure on foreign exchange reserves, he added.
Asad Umer said that four components including exports, imports, remittances and foreign direct investment were the determining factors of current account deficit, adding that all these indicators excluding foreign investment remained on the mark during the period under review.
He informed that private sector credit off-take during the period from July-December 2018-19 had also witnessed 65 percent growth as compared to 21 percent of last year which was the highest in last 13 years.
The minister said that consumer inflation rate based on Consumer Prices Index (CPI) during the first five months of the government of Pakistan People’s Party increased by 11.2 percent, it increased by 4 percent in Pakistan Muslim League (N) regime, whereas the CPI had witnessed a nominal increase of 0.4 percent in the first five months of PTI government.
He said that year on year, CPI percentage change by income quintiles and commodity groups was at a lower level for the low-income group in 2018 as compared to the same period of last year, adding that government had tried to provide maximum relief to common man.
He said that the current government after coming into power had announced to explore and utilize other alternative sources for economic development and stabilization, besides negotiating with the International Monitory Fund (IMF).
The government was still in process of negotiation with IMF and as soon as any suitable programme for the betterment of national economy finalized, the agreement with the fund would be signed, he remarked.
Besides, he said that government was utilizing other available alternate options for fulfilling the financial requirements of the country and taking different measures for economic development and social prosperity of the country. Replying to a question, the minister said that supplementary Finance Bill would be introduced to attract investment, promoting exports and facilitating the business activities in the country.