ISLAMABAD    -   Newly-appointed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday vowed to stabilize the local curren­cy and reduce inflation as well as interest rates – the steps desperately needed to revive the national economcy. Earlier in the day, President Dr Arif Alvi administered the oath to Senator Ishaq Dar as feder­al minister. Later, talking to the media, he vowed to revive the economy, which he said, was deteriorat­ed because of the mismanagement of the previous government of PTI. Economic policies of PTI have pushed the country behind 30 years, he remarked.

He said that stabilizing local currency and reduc­ing inflation and interest rates are priorities of the government. “Our currency does not deserve to be there where it currently is. I believe some specu­lators who had been playing the game have now stopped. Before I landed here, they had started go­ing in a good direction,” he added. “Our second pri­ority is to bring inflation and interest rates down.”

He expressed satisfaction over the appreciation of rupee over the last two days saying this has re­duced our loans by more than one trillion rupees. He warned the speculators will not be allowed to play with the local currency. 

The finance minister rejected the impression that the PML(N) government in its previous tenure (be­tween 2013 to 2018) injected dollars in the mar­ket to keep the rupee overvalued. He said we rath­er took the foreign exchange reserves to record level of $23 billion. He said we believe in market econo­my, recalling it was the PML-N government which introduced market-based exchange rate in 1999. He said it was because of the efforts of former Fi­nance Minister Miftah Ismail that the country avert­ed default. He, however, said that the mess left be­hind by the PTI government could not be cleared in six months. He said we do not believe in mere verbal claims rather history is testimony of our econom­ic performance. “As a nation we had challenges, we have faced them with success in the past,” he said. 

He regretted that the PTI government during its last days in office violated the international agree­ments to take political mileage.