Monday Oct 03, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Monday accused PTI Chairman Imran Khan of destroying the economy and assured the masses that he would bring the dollar value below 200 with the help of his policies.
“The actual value of the Pakistani rupee is less than 200 against the greenback and it will be brought down as it is currently undervalued,” he said during Geo News' programme "Capital Talk."
He mentioned that the dollar value is strong internationally, but “we will bring it down below 200 against our currency soon.”
Since Dar was sworn in on September 28, the seasoned politician and chartered accountant faces the daunting task of stabilising an economy that has for months been in a tailspin, facing multiple threats of high inflation, a widening current account deficit and falling reserves.
He has strongly favoured intervention in currency markets in three previous stints in the job and is also expected to strengthen the currency which closed at Rs227.29 against the US dollar today.
The finance minister went on to say that Khan’s speeches at his public gatherings reflect his frustration, saying that “deals and favouritism” are part of Khan’s fate.
“Khan contested the elections by cracking deals and staged demonstrations by cracking deals,” he said, lambasting the PTI chief for holding Islamabad hostage for 126 days which delayed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
Warning him of serious repercussions, Dar urged Khan to take him seriously and stay within his limits.
“Khan and his entire team are obsessed with me because they fear that we [PML-N] will stabilise the economy of Pakistan once again as we did back in 2013,” he said, reiterating his suggestion that the country needs a charter of the economy.
“The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) is an independent institution and it does not involve in manipulative activities,” he said while replying to a question regarding the PTI leader Hammad Azhar accusing Dar of manipulating the economic data.
Speaking about former finance minister Miftah Ismail, Dar said: “I have to handle the International Monetary Fund (IMF) matters, so from now on, neither Miftah nor anybody else has to worry about anything."
A day earlier, Miftah termed the government’s decision to not increase the petroleum development levy (PDL) this month without IMF’s approval, "reckless”.
“Miftah is my colleague but he has his own point of view and I have mine,” he said, advising him not to worry about the IMF as it is now his responsibility to deal with the body. “I know how to do it as I have solutions and have been dealing with them for the last 25 years.”
The finance minister said: “Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif himself told me that during the United National General Assembly (UNGA) session, where Miftah was also present, he proposed IMF officials freeze taxes to which they did not refuse.”
“I believe that the flood-and-inflation-weary people shouldn’t be burdened further,” he said while taking a jibe at his fellow PML-N member for "burdening the masses" with his policies.