Defence minister Kh Asif says Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE mulling to invest in public sector entities on G2G transactions n Finance minister Miftah says dollar market is now coming under control n Says he has no regret for taking tough decisions to avoid the country from default n SBP governor to be named next week.

ISLAMABAD    -   Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Mu­hammad Asif on Thurs­day said that some Gulf countries have shown interest in investing in public sector entities of Pakistan through gov­ernment to government (G2G) transaction.

Addressing a press conference along with Finance Minister Miftah Ismail here, the Defence Minister said that Gulf countries including Qa­tar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emir­ates (UAE) have shown interest in investing in public sector entities on G2G transactions, which need legislations that has almost final­ized. Meanwhile, there would be foreign invest­ment in listed compa­nies of Pakistan, he said.

The Finance Minis­ter said that rupee val­ue has depreciated re­cently due the political situation. “The dollar market has been quite shaken for two to three days since July 17 but it has now been brought under control slowly.” The situation is nor­malizing with the pas­sage of time. He said dollar price is now coming under control since the government has announced that it will complete its tenure.

He said the nation will see dividends of this thing from next week. “You will begin to see its effects by next week, but more importantly, from next month when the daily demand for dollars in banks will be less than supply.” He further said that the import bill would reduce in current month, which would ease pressure on the currency. The government would not import diesel, motor gasoline and fur­nace oil for next two months as the country has sufficient stock, he added.

He made it clear that the government and central bank would not interfere in the market to control the rupee value following the commit­ment with international lend­ers. However, he expressed the confidence that the demand for dollar will be tackled by ensur­ing enhanced supply of dollar. He said that currency has ap­preciated against Euro, Pound and Yen. However, it depreciat­ed only against US dollar.

Miftah Ismail said that he has no regret for taking tough decisions to avoid the coun­try from default. The govern­ment would take further tough decisions if needed to avert the country from default. He informed that government would appoint Governor State Bank of Pakistan in next week.

Khawaja Asif said that the US currency has appreciat­ed all over the world. He crit­icized the PTI government for its economic policy. He said ex­ternal factors had a bigger role to play in the dollar’s constant appreciation. The PML-N had decided to form the govern­ment at the potential loss of its popularity, to prevent a “sure default” and take the required difficult decisions.

Commenting on the politi­cal situation in the country, the Defence Minister said that the by-election in Punjab was nei­ther a setback for the PML-N nor the defeat was due to in­flation. The party has consoli­dated its positions in the elec­tion by winning five seats and increasing its votes. In general election 2018, the PML-N had not won a single seat in these 20 constituencies. These seats were either won by PTI or in­dependent in general election 2018, he added.

Khawaja Asif criticized the PTI for horse-trading in last four years. Track record of the PTI Chief’s approach toward horse-trading over the last four years is an open secret. He said Imran Khan had once dubbed Pervaiz Elahi as the biggest dacoit of Punjab and now he is going to support him. He further said that Punjab Ad­ministration led by Chief Min­ister Hamza Shehbaz Sharif had conducted the most trans­parent elections in the recent by-polls in Punjab. He said it showed our commitment with our narrative of giving respect to the sanctity of vote without giving any consideration to po­litical.

He said that the former Na­tional Accountability Bureau (NAB) head possessed bad re­pute and he did not want to narrate it publicly. “The Feder­al Cabinet has appointed a po­lice officer of good reputation from the Police Service as NAB head and no one can question his personality and moral re­pute,” he added.

He said from April 11 till the moment, the PML-N govern­ment had taken all measures sincerely without any politi­cal motives. “We could have resigned or announced ear­ly elections but have taken the responsibility of bringing sta­bility in the country”.