Prime Minister’s Finance and Revenue Advisor Shaukat Tarin says elements involved in speculative trading are responsible for the depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar. On Sunday, he also admitted the government’s powerlessness over oil prices, saying prices could rise further if the international market rises.
Tarin, however, said “good news” regarding talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was expected soon and should lead to an appreciation of the rupee.
Talks between Pakistan and the IMF over a $ 1 billion loan tranche have stalled since October 15.
The standoff put the US dollar on a winning streak against the rupee. On Saturday, the greenback rose by Rs 0.20 to Rs 178 on the open market, its highest value ever. The value of the US dollar against the rupee has steadily increased since November 4.
On Sunday, addressing a ceremony at Naya Nazimabad in Karachi, Tarin said the uncertainty surrounding the talks would end soon and good news was expected.
He said that elements involved in speculative trading caused the value of the US dollar to appreciate from Rs8 to Rs9 beyond its actual market price. “The US dollar is expected to be valued at Rs 167-167. At least Rs 8-9 is being misappropriated by speculators.”
Elements involved in speculative trade would be affected as soon as Pakistan concludes talks with the IMF, Tarin said.
Speaking of oil prices, the prime minister’s advisor said the government had no choice but to pass the rise in international markets on to end consumers.
Tarin announces growth of 5%
Tarin said that three years ago when the PTI government came to power, the current account deficit was very high. To control it, the government urged friendly countries to deposit dollars with Pakistan’s central bank.
“But despite all these efforts, we had to turn to the IMF,” he said.
The adviser claimed that at present the growth rate in Pakistan is around 5%. “We are moving step by step towards economic development. Our goal is to make this growth inclusive and sustainable,” he said.
But Pakistan has never been able to achieve sustainable growth. Why? Tarin pointed out that economic experts attributed this to three things: a low savings rate, a huge difference between exports and imports, and productivity.
More taxes, import duties
The prime minister’s adviser said that for the future the government is pursuing specific goals. “We are focusing on income, agriculture and taxes this time.”
“This year Pakistan collected 36% more revenue, including 32% income tax. But our plan is to increase [the tax to GDP ratio] to 14% next year. “
He pointed out that IT has enormous potential in the export market. “Last year we saw 47% growth in the industry. We plan to increase it to $ 50 million. This will help us close the gap between imports and exports.
The adviser also hinted at new import restrictions, saying the government would soon increase import duties.
Tarin added that Prime Minister Imran has always insisted that economic growth be inclusive. “This will be done by providing four million poor households with a package that will include home, business and agricultural loans,” he said.
Speaking of the Kamyab Jawan program, he called the initiative revolutionary. “It will change the fate of the country and bring immense development.”
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