ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance, Miftah Ismail on Sunday said that the nation has to live within its current national resources by which the government can move towards self-reliance.

The minister said that the damage in this flood is estimated at 10 billion dollars.

Import payments should equal dollar inflows, which means curbs on luxury items may remain in place for longer than currently anticipated, Miftah Ismail said in an interview with Bloomberg News at his home in Karachi.

“I want to see a Pakistan that lives within its means,” the Finance Minister told adding, nothing can happen in one year, but we can start”. Less than a week ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave Pakistan $1.16 billion, he said.

The minister said that Pakistan also secured pledges for a total of $9 billion in investments and loans from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Miftah warns of food insecurity as floods dent wheat, rice crops

Ismail said he expects a $1 billion investment in listed state-owned companies to materialize in about a month.

Pakistan on Aug. 29 secured a bailout from the IMF to avert an imminent default as the country deals with political turmoil and deadly flooding.

Since taking up his post in April, Miftah Ismail has made efforts to narrow Pakistan’s yawning trade gap and current account deficit a priority. Ismail expects economic growth of more than 3.5 percent for the fiscal year that started in July, down from an initial target of 5 percent.

He predicts that inflation, running at the highest in 47 years and the second highest in Asia, is close to its peak and will average 15 percent for the year. Vegetable prices, a key component, have already started to come down after shooting higher following the floods, he said.


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