US can’t stop Pakistan from purchasing Russian oil: Dar

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Market-based exchange rate reason behind economic crisis

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Sunday that the United States can not stop Pakistan from purchasing Russian oil and it will be possible to do so soon.

While addressing Pakistan Muslim League-N workers in Dubai, the finance minister said during his visit to the US last month, he had a meeting with the officials of the US State Department in which the matter of oil purchase from Russia was discussed.

Dar further said that the US authorities were informed that they cannot stop Islamabad from buying oil from Moscow as the country’s neighbour India is also buying oil from them.

Dar also said that the ministry will try to purchase oil from Russia on similar terms as it has with India. “In the next few months, you will see that the government will take important steps in favour of Paki stan in this regard,” added the finance minister.

Dar added that the country has financial dealings with Saudi Arabia, China, and the United Arab Emirates. “During the prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia, meetings were also held with the Saudi authorities. From these meetings, you will see that there will be further improvement for Pakistan,” said Dar.

Dar also said that Saudi Arabia will set up a refinery in Gwadar, adding that this is an investment of around $11 or $12 billion.

He further said that this project was started in October 2015 that he was in Riyadh at that time and that he had meetings with high Saudi officials.

“Due to the political crisis and change of government in Pakistan, this refinery could not be established, now it has been decided to establish the refinery again,” the finance minister added.

Ishaq Dar slammed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s government for sinking Pakistan’s economy in their four-year tenure.

The minister said that economy faced a negative impact when the dollar spiraled due to Pakistan’s decision to move to a market-based exchange rate.

“The economy was destroyed in four years. Pakistan was on the verge of becoming Sri Lanka instead of turning into Singapore,” he said.

Dar added that the change of government was decided to save the state and the incumbent government is trying to provide relief to the people, in addition to controlling fuel prices.

Dar, while commenting on the rising dollar rates before he took over as the finance minister, said that the country’s debt increased by Rs4 trillion and assured to maintain balance between the price of dollar and rupee.

“We will try to depreciate dollar below Rs200. Our government is determined to improve rupee’s value against the dollar,” the minister said on plans to ensure currency balance.

The finance minister said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is implementing economic reforms to bring the economy back on its feet.

“We will complete the IMF programme. Around $32 billion to $34 billion are required for the current financial year. We hope to collect the amount,” Dar said speaking about the funds to be received from the global financial institution.

 

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