Pakistan cannot afford $48B trade deficit, $18B CAD: Miftah Ismail

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Pakistan trade deficit

Islamabad: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail said that Pakistan could not afford a trade deficit of $48 billion and a current account deficit of $18 billion.

Addressing a news conference here in Islamabad on Wednesday, Miftah Ismail said there had been a reduction in imports since the government took charge this year.

“The trade fundamentals have been corrected as a result of measures taken by the present government over the last few months,” Miftah Ismail said.

He stressed that during FY22, the trade deficit clocked in at $48 billion, and the current account deficit hit $18 billion, which the country could not afford.

Read: Whopping $48.2bn trade deficit recorded during FY22

Regarding the agreement with the IMF, Miftah said that the government would implement whatever had been agreed with the Fund.

“The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have also opened their financing for Pakistan following our agreement with the IMF.”

While talking about the government’s steps to meet the financing gap, he mentioned, without naming, that friendly countries had pledged to provide oil worth $1.2 billion on deferred payment, invest in Pakistan Stock Market, provide gas worth $2.4 billion on deferred payment, deposit $2 billion with the SBP and provide 2 billion SDRs during current FY.

“The economy is on the right trajectory, saying there has been improvement in tax collection. We will enhance the tax to GDP ratio and reduce the budget deficit during the current fiscal year,” Miftah Ismail added.

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