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Dar denies govt considering access to commercial banks forex

Dar denies govt considering access to commercial banks forex

Dar denies govt considering access to commercial banks forex

Ishaq Dar denied rumours govt seizing commercial banks’ dollars.

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  • Ishaq Dar denied any such move is under consideration
  • He said dollars in commercial banks are “property of the people”
  • He said some “vested elements” gave his comments a deliberate twist
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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar said the government was not considering access to foreign exchange reserves held with the commercial banks.

“National foreign exchange reserves always include forex held with [the State Bank of Pakistan] SBP and commercial banks,” the finance minister said in a statement on Twitter, recalling he quoted the forex reserves figure based on this principle.

With renaming anyone but an apparent reference to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Dar said some “vested elements”, who ruined the country’s economy in the past deliberately, twisted the reserves situation and started a campaign as if the government was considering access to foreign exchange held with commercial banks.

Dar maintained that the foreign exchange held by commercial banks is “indeed the property of the citizens”.

“It is categorically denied and clarified that there is no such move under consideration of the government. Therefore, said misconstrued, misinterpreted and malafide propaganda should be ignored. Pakistan is moving towards improvement in its forex reserves position in the near future” he said.


Dar also addressed the issue in a press conference alongside Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other federal cabinet members.

“I have already said that Pakistan’s reserves are $10 billion. The figures I quoted were based on the principle that national foreign exchange reserves always include forex held with SBP and commercial banks”, he said

He said earlier every cent was transferred to the central bank accounts, not commercial banks, but a system was devised in 1999 under which a substantial amount was proposed to remain with banks. He added a breakdown of the reserves was given wherever the figures were quoted at the international level.

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Regarding the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ishaq Dar said he and his team had a detailed meeting on the sidelines of the conference in Geneva earlier this week.

He said the IMF was informed that Pakistan was on track on the power and gas sectors reforms. He said the 10 percent special tax was delayed due to the stays from the high court and the matter would be resolved soon.

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He said the government managed to overrun the tax collection target in the first five months of the current fiscal year. However, he said the target was missed in December 2022 but still the government was confident of achieving the annual target.

The minister recalled in 2016, the country had become part of the top 24 economies of the world and in 2030, it was going to become part of G-20, but due to the bad governance of PTI, the country’s ranking went down to 47 number last year.

 

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