Finance minister pledges fiscal discipline

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.

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