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Pressure on rupee to subside in couple of weeks, says Miftah Ismail

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has said that the pressure on rupee would disappear in a couple of weeks.

In a conversation with think tank Tabadlab Mosharraf Zaidi, Miftah said that the government had requested a “friendly country” for dollar deposits, but the request was rejected by the latter as “deposits were never returned”.

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The country, Miftah added, did show willingness to purchase shares in listed government owned entities.

Miftah said that letting a friendly country acquire 10-15 percent shareholding in state-owned companies would result in raising dollars. According to the finance minister, some irresponsible politicians were scandalizing a simple repurchase agreement that would result in bringing dollars and eventually help to fight the balance of payments crisis.

The finance minister also said that the “friendly country” wanted to help us and a good deal was offered.

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Miftah Ismail further spoke about the exchange rate and stated that it would stabilize after the inflows of dollars would be higher than the outflow.

Regarding the policy of restricting imports, the finance minister said that nobody was happy with the surgery but it was necessary. He said that after repetition of the process for two to three months, he would have a greater handle on foreign currency.

Miftah said that during the last year, $80 billion were spent on imports compared with only $31 billion exports. According to the finance minister, the gap has resulted in pressure on rupee.

He said that soon a policy plan would be in place that would within three months result in gradual decreasing of imports and organically increase exports.

The finance minister expressed the hope that within weeks, the IMF inflows would materialize as he did not see negotiations restarting.



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