Thursday, October 06, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Thursday announced to ensure the supply of electricity to exporters at subsidised rates, setting the price at Rs19.89 per unit.
“All distribution companies will provide electricity to the exporter community on these rates and the difference between original prices and subsidised rates will be covered by the Ministry of Finance,” Dar said while addressing a press conference after talks with the business community.
The finance minister said that the coalition government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, was doing its best for assisting the business community and farmers to put the country's economy on the right track.
He urged the business community to enhance Pakistan's exports for the country's betterment. “Pakistan's external account problems can only be resolved through improving the export sector,” Dar emphasised.
Dar said the annual burden of the subsidy would amount to around Rs90-100 billion, adding that the “all-inclusive” package was announced for the five major exporting sectors, and not just the textile sector.
He denied that the subsidy would have any impact on the primary or budget deficit, assuring that “everything will be taken care of”.
The minister said that without him having to do anything, the rupee started recovering as soon as he assumed the post of finance minister, assuring that the economic policymakers are making efforts to bring back the rupee at its original value, which is less than Rs200 against the US dollar.
Dar claimed that the market was moving in the “right direction” and correcting itself.
He further added that today’s rupee appreciation brought a reduction of around Rs2,600 billion in public debt and liabilities without “giving back even a single rupee”.
The finance minister also addressed the continuous depreciation of the US dollar against the rupee, saying that the development occurred without him even doing anything.
Replying to a question on whether the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was taken into confidence on the package, the finance minister said: “I don’t need to take [the IMF] into confidence […] when I know what I am doing then it is my responsibility to create [fiscal] space for it and I have done so.”
Dar added that he believed in taking “prudent decisions” and had a source of funds available for the package. “[I will explain it myself] when talks are held with them [IMF delegation] and when they arrive on October 25,” he added.