ISLAMABAD: Following government measures to tackle the ongoing economic turmoil, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Monday made clear there are no plans to impose a financial emergency in the country.
In a tweet, Ismail said the country is not facing a financial emergency as petrol prices have doubled – and rose to Rs 209.86, while other petroleum products have also surged. .
The finance minister, without giving a date, added that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would, at some point, announce austerity measures to save government spending.
In an attempt to bring economic stability and revive the stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) multi-billion dollar program, the government has raised the price of gasoline by up to Rs 60 per liter.
Furthermore, the National Electricity Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) last week increased the basic electricity tariff by Rs 7,9078/kWh for the next fiscal year 2022-23 – increasing the inflation burden on residents.
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) also approved a gas price increase last Friday – a 45% increase was approved for Northern Sui Gas Pipeline Company Limited (SNGPL) while 44% for Southern Sui Gas Company (SSGC).
The finance minister also assured last month that the government would reach a staffing agreement with the international money lender by June, without specifying an exact date.
In addition, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that the government and central bank are taking all necessary measures to ensure macroeconomic stability in the country.
The government’s recent tough decisions – including reducing subsidies for petroleum products – are expected to pave the way for reaching an agreement with the IMF and freeing up rounds of financial support from institutions. other multilateral agencies and friendly countries.
“We are confident that these measures will provide a temporary relief from the temporary stress being faced by rising global commodity prices and geopolitical tensions, while also removing uncertainty in the economy,” he said. central bank said.
No consideration about freezing foreign currency accounts: Ismail
In another tweet, the finance minister also said there were “absolutely no plans” to freeze foreign currency accounts, the Roshan Digital Account, or take over people’s personal lockers.
“We never even contemplated these steps. We never will. The speculation on social media about this is false and comes from the biased quarters,” he said.
Before the Finance Minister clarified, in a statement, SBP denied rumors of imposing restrictions on foreign currency accounts, Roshan Digital Accounts and safe deposit lockers.
In a statement, the central bank assured all account holders in Pakistan that their accounts and lockers are completely secure and that no proposal under consideration places any restrictions on them. with them.