Forex reserves touch historic high $24.5b


US Undersecretary lauds Pak implementation of economic reform

Mian Arshad

Islamabad—Foreign exchange reserves of the country have reached the new historic high of $24.5 billion. This is for the first time in country’s history that foreign exchange reserves have touched such a higher volume.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, on the occasion congratulated the Prime Minister and the Nation on this achievement.
“There was a time when the country had reserves equal to a few weeks payment of the import bill but now, with the grace of the Almighty, we have reached a level where we have foreign exchange reserves equal to 6 months of import bill” said the Finance Minister. The Minister also said that out of the total, SBP has $19.5 billion whereas commercial banks have $5 billion of these reserves.
The Minister also said that we have worked really hard to reach this new level of reserves. Pakistan is not what it was three years ago, the country is more stable and the international investors see Pakistan as new destination for their investments. He added that all this has happened with the constant hard work and team effort under the leadership of the Prime Minister.
At the same time a spokesperson to the Ministry of Finance has expressed disappointment over the assertions made by few people who, with ulterior motives, have been twisting the facts regarding the award of “Best Finance Minister of the Year for 2016” to Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar by Emerging Markets publication. The spokesman has clarified that Finance Ministers of other countries have also been receiving the said award in the past many years.
The spokesman made it clear that Emerging Markets is a financial trade newsletter that widely publishes around Spring and Annual Meetings of the IMF / World Bank and gives awards every year to Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.
The award was officially received by the Pakistani Ambassador to USA Mr Jalil Jilani in the official function held in Washington on 8thOctober 2016.
IMF Report endorses improved power supply, reduction in losses & containment of circular debt.
Meanwhile, The US Undersecretary of State Catherine Novelli, Friday, appreciated Pakistan’s first time completion of IMF’s 3-years program and successful implementation of reform agenda leading to the direction of macroeconomic stability.
In a telephonic interaction with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, she congratulated Finance Minister for receiving the award of Best Finance Minister of the Year for South Asia and said that the award given by Emerging Markets, the newspaper of the IMF / World Bank Annual Meeting, was “totally deserved”.
The two leaders discussed how the US could assist Pakistan in improving its labour standards as a means to better market Pakistan’s manufactured products. Ms Novelli added that the new head of International Labour Organization (ILO) was keen to help Pakistan in this field. Finance Minister welcomed US offer and said that we would further coordinate on this subject.
Novelli also apprised Finance Minister about the progress in the ongoing 28th meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol taking place in Kigali, Rawanda. Finance Minister assured Ms Novelli that Pakistan would play a positive role in the meeting keeping in view its national interests.
Finance Minister apprised her of his domestic commitments, including All Parties Conference and Joint Session of the Parliament to discuss the situation on the Line of Control (LoC), which necessitated him to cancel his visit to Washington for annual meetings of the IMF / World Bank.