FinMin foresees gradual inflation reduction amid improved financial management

Finance minister shamshad akhtar inflation

WEB DESK: Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar has expressed optimism that inflation in Pakistan will gradually decrease due to the country’s improved financial management.

Addressing the Senate, she highlighted the positive impact of effective policies implemented by the caretaker government on economic conditions.

Responding to a query from Behramand Tangi of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) regarding the Chief Justice-Prime Minister Dam Fund, Akhtar reported that as of July 26, 2023, the fund had received a total of Rs11,466,937,658.

Additionally, the profit earned from fund investments amounted to Rs6,295,938,962, contributing to a total fund calculation of Rs17,862,876,620.

Notably, no funds had been withdrawn or utilised from the dam fund account maintained with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in adherence to the Supreme Court’s directives from July 2018.

Akhtar further informed the Senate that the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had approved a $3 billion stand-by arrangement (SBA), with $1.2 billion already disbursed.

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She outlined the upcoming reviews scheduled for November 2023 and March 2024, stating that the completion of each review would result in the disbursement of the remaining amount.

Addressing concerns about the depreciation of the Pakistani currency, Akhtar explained in a written response that the rupee came under pressure against the dollar starting from the second week of August 2023.

This was attributed to uncertainties related to the transition of government to the interim setup, the continuity of economic reforms, and the IMF programme.

The depreciation persisted until the first week of September 2023, reaching a peak exchange rate of 307.10 against the dollar on September 5, 2023.

However, Akhtar noted that measures taken by the government and the SBP led to the appreciation of the rupee against the dollar thereafter.

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