Pakistan’s reserves $14 billion less than required amount, says Dr. Hafeez Pasha

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Former Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Pasha has said that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are at a level of $14 billion less than the amount required for the country’s needs, besides the value of the rupee against the dollar by the end of the current financial year can reach the level of 322.

Former Finance Minister Dr. Hafeez Pasha addressed the book launch ceremony, his wife Dr. Ayesha Pasha was also present on the occasion.

Addressing his book ‘Important Issues of The Pakistani Economy’ published by German think tank Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Dr. Hafeez Pasha said that the foreign exchange rate of the rupee and the foreign exchange reserves are terrible. Unemployment in Pakistan is currently at an all-time high of 11 per cent, while poverty is at its highest level, where 100 million people are currently living below the poverty line.

Hafeez Pasha said that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are currently $14 billion less than the country’s needs. He said that in the book, he has mentioned that the value of the rupee against the dollar has been estimated on the basis of one month’s import situation and according to which the level of one dollar should be equal to Rs 322 and if Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves are able to bear the import burden of one and a half months, then the value of one dollar will be equal to Rs 264.

He said that the foreign exchange rate has been under government control since the new government came to power, while it should be allowed to fix the market, which is also the demand of the IMF.

Dr Pasha said that in the absence of the IMF program, the only option left for Pakistan is to restructure the external debt. Pakistan’s biggest problem is multilateral loans. Most of the loans were obtained from these sources. Repayment of this loan is the biggest challenge. The second major challenge is meeting IMF conditions.

Talking about the deteriorating state of the economy and the risk of default, Dr. Hafeez Pasha said that Pakistan is ninth among 11 countries of the world approaching default, adding that development projects worth Rs9,000 billion could not be completed in decades. These projects will not be completed in the next 18 years.

According to him, PSDP used to be 3 percent of GDP in the past. Now it is less than 1 percent. He said that food inflation is at risk of going up to 53 percent. The main reason for this is the uncontrolled increase in the value of the dollar. Another 10 to 11 per cent were rendered jobless due to floods. The number of these people is close to 25 lakh, while 1crore 10 lakh people were already unemployed.