Rupee to see improvement ‘in next two weeks’, Miftah Ismail says

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Finance minister Miftah Ismail on Sunday said that the Pakistani rupee, which has taken a beating against the US dollar in recent weeks, should see some improvement “in the two weeks”.

Ismail was addressing a press conference to speak about Pakistan’s economic path forward.

“I really think — although I never like to speculate on the currency market — but I really think that the rupee’s true value is far greater [than what it is right now],” the finance minister said.

He explained that in the past two months, Pakistan had to part with “a billion and another billion”, which put pressure on the local currency.

Ismail said that efforts will be geared towards more dollars coming in daily and fewer leaving the country next month. “With our efforts to reduce imports and InshaAllah, with the daily rise in incoming dollars versus a decline in outgoing units, there will be a surplus [of dollars],” he said.

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“This will lead to a reduced pressure [on the rupee] and the dollar’s value against the rupee should then see a slight drop,” the minister added.

Ismail said that he has hope that the “next two weeks will InshaAllah be better”.

He cautioned, though, that although this is his view since he believes “the fundamentals are in Pakistan’s favour”, but “speculation and sentiments also play a role in this”.

The finance minister, to a question on what the government plans to do to arrest the rising inflation, Ismail said: “It is the prime objective of every finance minister to curb inflation and focus on growth. My number one priority has never been to control inflation or to bring growth. My priority has only been to save Pakistan from default.”

In criticism of the past rulers, said that the PTI-led government increased the country’s debt by Rs20,000 billion in the last three and a half years.

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