Pakistan approaching IMF for last time: Umar

Pakistan approaching IMF for last time: Umar

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umar on Saturday said the country was approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the last time for financial assistance.

Up and downs were part of trading, however, transparency would be ensured in government affairs to revive the confidence of investors, he said during his visit to Pakistan Stock Exchange here.

The minister said dollar would become cheaper by 26-27 per cent in the next seven to eight months.

Praising the Pakistan Stock Exchange leadership, Asad Umar promised effective measures for boosting the stock market. Investors’ trust was very important as economic growth increased the volume of stock market, he added.

He said the media was portraying a bleak picture of the stock market which was not true.

Asad Umar said the cost of doing business in the country was very high. There was need to improve overall investment environment, he said, adding there was low investment in the market due to taxation, which needed to be corrected.

He said the government was taking steps to increase exports and decrease imports which would further reduce trade deficit. It was taking measures to widen tax net, besides improving the capital market.

The minister said the current account deficit had increased from $2.5 billion to $18 billion. Pakistan needed $27 billion to meet the current account deficit and make external payments. The deficit would be brought down through monetary and fiscal measures.

Pakistan, he said, had to make external payments of $9 billion this year.