ISLAMABAD (NNI): Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has reaffirmed that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves will strengthen very soon saying that the country’s reserves stood at a total of $10 billion.
Recalling the economic feats achieved by the PML-N government from 2013 to 2018, Ishaq Dar said that they oversaw a period where the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country improved from $244 billion to $356 billion.
Ishaq Dar said, “Pakistan reserves stood at a total of $10 billion — $4 billion of the State Bank of Pakistan and $6 billion of commercial banks. Pakistan is repaying its loans on time, and the foreign exchange reserves will soon boost.”
The finance minister mentioned that a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would soon visit the country and he would also meet the lender’s officials at the Geneva moot.
The International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan will take place on January 9 in Switzerland’s Geneva, where the coalition government aims to raise funds to recover from the deadly floods.
After concluding the visit to Geneva, Dar, without mentioning further, told the media outlet that he would visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a three-day official visit.
“Funds from Saudi Arabia and other friendly countries will soon be received,” the finance minister said, who told journalists earlier this week that he expects inflows from China “in a few days”.
IMF team may hold talks with Ishaq Dar in Geneva: A delegation of International Monetary Fund is expected to meet Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on the sidelines of International Geneva Conference going to be held tomorrow (Jan 9), the IMF spokesperson said on Sunday. In a statement, IMF representative in Islamabad Esther Pérez Ruiz said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a constructive talk with the managing director of the Fund on Jan 6 regarding the Geneva Conference scheduled to be held on Jan 9. The representative said that the IMF MD expressed her sympathy to those directly affected by the floods and supported Pakistan’s efforts to build a more resilient recovery.
She said that a delegation of the Fund is expected to meet Finance Minister Dar on the sidelines of Geneva Conference and they would discuss outstanding issues and are expected to find a way forward on the IMF loan programme.
Pakistan entered a $6 billion IMF programme in 2019, which was increased to $7bn last year. The programme’s ninth review, which would release $1.18bn, is currently pending. It had earlier been put off for two months due to government’s unwillingness to accept certain conditions placed before it by the Fund, and the disagreements have yet to be resolved. The IMF spokesperson’s statement came two days after prime minister announced that a delegation of the Fund would visit Pakistan in next two to three days to complete the ninth review of the IMF $7 billion loan programme for Pakistan.
On Friday, Managing Director International Monetary Fund Ms Kristalina Georgieva called Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif over telephone and reiterated her commitment to help Pakistan in the difficult period. She also expressed her deep sympathy and concern on the human and material losses due to recent floods.
The prime minister thanked the Managing Director for her concern on the fallout of the floods and extended an invitation to her to participate in the Climate Resilient Pakistan Conference at Geneva.
Kristalina Georgieva thanked the PM for the invitation to participate in the Climate Resilient Pakistan Conference at Geneva, saying she would be able to join the conference virtually as the IMF Board meetings had been prefixed for January 9 -10.
The prime minister assured the MD IMF that Pakistan was committed to successfully completing the ongoing IMF programme and thanked the Ms Kristalina Georgieva for her understanding and empathy of the challenges that Pakistan was facing.Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also wrote an op-ed in The Guardian on Friday to highlight the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction challenges facing Pakistan after one of the worst floods due to climate change.