Thursday, July 21, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced on Thursday that the government will nominate a new governor of the State Bank of Pakistan — a post that has remained vacant for more than two months — in the next week.
Addressing a press conference along with Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, the finance czar of the country said that the new governor will be nominated next week.
While talking about the depreciating rupee, Miftah also assured the reporters that Acting SBP Governor Murtaza Syed had no hand in the depreciation of the rupee.
He added that the local currency would stabilise against the greenback next month.
“Due to import payments of $7.5 billion, pressure is coming on the rupee,” said the finance minister, adding that the rupee had also come under pressure due to the political crisis that resulted following PML-N’s thrashing in the July 17 by-polls.
“The demand for dollars in banks will decrease. Last month, there were imports of $7.5 billion and this month's imports are less than last year,” said Miftah.
He further stated that the government was focusing on minimising imports and increasing exports.
The finance minister also stated that there has been a significant decrease in the import of diesel and furnace oil, adding that the country has a couple of months of furnace oil in its reserve.
“The economy is moving in the right direction,” said the finance minister, repeating what his colleague Khawaja Asif had said in the press conference that the coalition government would sacrifice its political capital for the sake of the country.
Talking about the pressure on him, Miftah dismissed those rumours by saying that no one in the federal cabinet has accused him of the loss the PML-N took in the July 17 by-polls.
On the other hand, Asif assured the reporters that the coalition government’s main priority was to revive the economy.
“Will take all necessary steps needed to revive the economy,” the defence minister said while noting that his party may face the voters' wrath in the elections.
“How many finance ministers did the previous government change? Whatever we did in three months, we did it sincerely,” said Asif.
The ministers also spoke about the PML-N’s thumping in Sunday’s by-polls, saying that compared to 2018, the PML-N’s vote bank had increased.
“In the constituencies where we took 6,000 votes last time, we grabbed 45,000 votes. Compared to 2018, we took 200,000 more votes in the recent by-elections,” said Asif.
The PML-N stalwart noted that there were some districts where his party had no vote banks in the past but received a large number of votes from those areas on Sunday. He also noted that the party had given tickets to PTI defectors instead of its workers in some places which had made them heartbroken.
“Ever since we took an oath, we have tried to bring stability rather than doing politics. We will learn from the experience of July 17,” said Asif.
The minister also reminded the media persons that the coalition government had taken over the charge themselves.
“If we had gone home, the country could have gone bankrupt. We made a political sacrifice for the sake of the country,” said Asif.