Dollar-based saving certificates to be issued for overseas Pakistanis No financial emergency, will not rush to IMF; says Asad Umar

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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar has dispelled the notion that Pakistan is facing a financial emergency and said that there is no need to rush to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout.”Pakistan is not in an emergency situation that requires it to rush to the IMF to seek a bailout.” the finance minister said during an interview with Arab News.

In an interview with Arab News, he said;”We have neither stopped imports nor imposed financial sanctions. We need to take well-measured decisions. As a situation emerges, we take steps to manage it. We don’t want to take decisions in emergency.”

Umar also said that they are planning to float overseas, dollar-based saving certificates for Pakistanis living abroad. The amount of issue would be decided at the time of floating these certificates, he said.

“We will float them in October, but it will not be a one-time issue. We will be floating these certificates periodically for overseas Pakistanis,” the finance minister added.

Regarding the scheduled visit of IMF’s staff mission to Pakistan on September 27, Umar said, “We are in discussion with them, but this is not to negotiate for a loan. Our purpose is to do our homework, in case we want to approach them at some stage.”

Responding to a question about managing the balance of payment deficit, the finance minister said, “We are eliminating the root cause of this problem, and that root cause is fiscal deficit. We have done that through the recent finance bill which will reduce our cost of import.”

He further said that during his visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed measures for trade enhancement and investment. “These are measures which will help fill the external financing gap,” he noted.

He also said Pakistan was constantly in touch with international commercial markets and banks for financing.

About the measures to increase the country’s exports to ease its external payment obligations, the finance minister said the issue had been discussed in detail with China. “During the upcoming international trade exhibition, which will be attended by the prime minister as one of the chief guests in China on November 4 and 5, we will discuss items line by line so that they can give us trade concessions to increase exports to China.”

“Similarly, when the Saudis will come, decisions will be made here in Pakistan about trade enhancement and investment,” he added.