Miftah Ismail: Government’s import bill fell by 35 percent in July to $5 billion

According to Finance Minister Miftah Ismail Sunday, Pakistan’s import bill was just $5 billion in July as opposed to $7.7 billion the month before, a fall of 35%.

The finance minister said at a news conference in Islamabad that the government is committed to lowering the country’s current account deficit.

The minister said that in order to change Pakistan’s current account deficit into a surplus, the government would endeavor to increase exports in the long term.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved lifting the import restriction on luxury goods, according to the finance minister, but the prime minister and cabinet have not yet granted their assent.

He also said that the import restrictions on fully assembled (CBU) cars, mobile phones, and household goods will continue.

The minister hoped that in the next weeks, the pressure on the rupee will lessen.

He continued by saying that the rupee’s intrinsic worth is far higher than its market price. He mostly cited the government’s recent large-scale payments as the cause of the rupee’s wild decline.

The former administration was also condemned by the finance minister and blamed for the unstable economic position in the nation.

The minister said that the country’s debt increased from Rs. 25,000 billion to above Rs. 44,000 billion during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf administration.

He noted that the tax-to-GDP ratio actually decreased under PTI’s leadership, refuting the previous administration’s egregious failure to raise it.

The minister also questioned the PTI’s performance in the energy industry, claiming that circular debt increased significantly under its rule.

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