Miftah Ismail says dollar cap caused $3bn loss

IMF's rapid response shows it is ready to work with Pakistan, says Miftah Ismail

News Desk
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail addressing a press conference in Islamabad, on May 26, 2022. — APP
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail addressing a press conference in Islamabad, on May 26, 2022. — APP
  • Would have been better if 9th review was passed in Oct, says Miftah.
  • Govt has taken good decision by removing dollar cap: Miftah Ismail.
  • Pakistan has to prove it can take right decisions, says PML-N leader. 

ISLAMABAD: Former finance minister Miftah Ismail said Thursday that Pakistan lost $3 billion in remittances and exports due to the unofficial capping of the greenback.

Speaking in the Geo News programme “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath”, Miftah said that had the matter with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) been sorted out by the end of October the situation would have been better. He said that the default risk would have been minimised if the ninth review was held and passed in Oct-Nov. The World Bank would have had no justification for the withdrawal of funds, he remarked.

However, Miftah said the government took positive steps to bring International Monetary Fund (IMF) back and hoped the country would not default after the government's decision to have a market-determined dollar rate. 

Miftah said that the IMF team would arrive in Pakistan on January 31 to hash out the details of the 9th Review, adding that the reaction by global lender shows the Fund is ready to go along with Pakistan. After the revival of the IMF programme, funds from friendly countries will also pour in, he added.

Miftah said IMF demands the government increase the prices of petrol, electricity and gas. “Everyone knows IMF would not talk to you unless you get the dollar float free”, he said.

The economist added that IMF has come to the table, and now Pakistan has to show the world that it can take the right decisions. He added that the government is saving dollars by not opening the LCs which is a hurdle in determining the actual value of the dollar.

The former finance minister said that hoarding of the greenback is a major concern as people are buying dollars instead of real estate.

Earlier, speaking on Geo News programme “Geo Pakistan”, PML-N leader Miftah Ismail slammed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar saying he doubted his ability to keep the economy afloat.

“I don’t know why Mr Dar was brought back, but Mr Dar thought he could run the country without International Monetary Fund”, Miftah said.

He said the attempt to run the country without IMFs assistance harmed Pakistan. The government realised it has no option other than embracing the tough conditions of the global lender, he added.

He stated a “strange system” has been established in Pakistan under which a small section of elites makes all the decisions. “Every country is ahead of us, and the reason behind it is the fault in governance,” Miftah said. The governance system could never be fixed without the devolution of authority, he remarked.

He said the authorities need to create employment opportunities for the lower class. “We have seen the democratic system of government, presidential system and dictatorship as well,” he said, adding the elite system has to be abolished.

When asked about the recently started national dialogue and formation of a new political party, Miftah said he is still part of PML-N and has no plans to take part in the elections in the future.