ISLAMABAD - Newly-appointed Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar has pledged to ensure fiscal discipline, promoting investments and bolstering efforts to address income inequality in the country. Upon assuming her new role at the ministry, Dr. Shamshad was given briefing by the Secretary Finance and his team on the economic situation and trends of major financial economic indicators of the country. The caretaker Finance Minister is facing enormous economic challenges. However, the main challenge is to implement the IMF’s staff level agreement, which was finalized by the previous government. The caretaker government would face another challenge of continuing currency depreciation against the US dollar despite reviving the IMF’s programme and massive inflows from the international lenders. The US dollar in interbank is trading around Rs 294.92. The local currency is depreciating despite sufficient foreign exchange reserves. The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at US$ 13,379.0 million as of 11-Aug-2023. The break-up of the foreign reserves position is as foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan: US$ 8,055.3 million and net foreign reserves held by commercial banks : US$ 5,323.7 million.