- Finance minister is currently in the US to hold talks on the IMF programme
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail has said that he intends to achieve "inclusive growth and control the current account deficit" by the end of his government’s tenure.
Speaking at an event hosted by renowned US think tank Atlantic Council in Washington DC, Ismail highlighted the economic agenda and priorities of the newly-formed government in Pakistan. He said the aim is to bring about economic and fiscal stability leading to economic recovery and growth.
To a query pertaining to the goals he intends to achieve before the end of his stint, the finance minister, currently on a visit to the US to meet IMF officials to revive the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme, responded: “One success for me is to immediately get Pakistan on track with the IMF, that’s important to me,” he said.
Ismail said that he expects his government to remain in power for at least a year, and by the end of it, he intends to enhance the country’s foreign exchange reserves and control the current account deficit.
“I want to leave with maybe 50% more reserves than what I inherited which is $10.8 billion, and most importantly, I want to have a measure of control on the current account deficit,” he said.
“You will still have a CAD of maybe 2-3% (of GDP), which is sustainable and what a growing country should have. But this 6% is beyond our means to afford. Whatever growth we have that should be inclusive.
“If you can have inclusive growth and control the current account deficit, I think that would be a job well done for me,” he said.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to attract US investment in all sectors of Pakistan’s economy by creating a business-friendly environment. He added that the government also recognises the potential of fintechs and a digital economy, and the sector will be facilitated further.
The federal minister said that the government will take step-wise measures to ensure robust increase in exports to resolve the balance of payments crisis and current account deficit issues.
Frederik Kempe, President of Atlantic Council in his introductory remarks, said that Pakistan and the US have a longstanding partnership based on shared values of democratic governance, regional security and economic growth. He also appreciated the role of Pakistani American diaspora in this regard.