Forex reserves cross $ 17 b
Amid growing international confidence in Islamabad’s economic direction, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have risen to $ 17.67 billion and are expected to hit a historic high this year, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said.
Currently, the State Bank of Pakistan holds $ 12 billion while private banks have the rest of the total reserves.
“Our next target is to cross the past highest level of $ 18.29 billion in reserves this year. We have not had the luxury of a front- loading IMF facility as was the case when that level was achieved but we have built up reserves on the basis of a range of policy measures and macroeconomic stability,” Senator Dar told Washington- based Pakistani journalists.
The finance minister was speaking at the end of a hectic three- day visit to Washington, during which he had around three dozen meetings including with the IMF and World Bank leaders and top US treasury, State Department, USAID, OPIC, USPakistan Business Council officials and investors.
In the meanwhile, talking to IMF Deputy Managing Director Mitsuhiro Furusawa in Washington, Dar reiterated the government’s commitment to continue reform agenda to put economy on a sound footing.
The minister said the 6th IMF review had been completed without a waiver after Pakistan’s fulfilment of the performance criteria. He especially mentioned the build- up of foreign exchange reserves, decline in inflation and discount rate and reduction of fiscal deficit and current account deficit.
The IMF Deputy Managing Director congratulated finance minister on successful 6th review of IMF programme. He expressed the hope that Pakistan would continue its economic policies and reform agenda.