Finance Minister Miftah Ismail Sunday said that Pakistan’s import bill stood at just $5 billion in July, compared to $7.7 billion in the previous month, registering a decrease of 35 percent.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the finance minister said that the government is committed to reducing the country’s current account deficit.
The minister said that in the long run, the government will work on increasing Pakistan’s exports to turn the current account deficit into a surplus.
The finance minister said that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has given the approval to lift the ban on imports of luxury items, but the prime minister and the cabinet are yet to give their approval.
He added that the ban on the import of completely built-up (CBU) automobiles, mobiles, and home appliances would remain in place.
The minister also expressed hope that the pressure on the rupee would ease in the coming weeks.
He added that the true value of the rupee is far greater than its current value. He attributed the rupee’s free fall largely to the massive payments the government made in recent months.
The finance minister also criticized the previous government and held it responsible for the country’s precarious economic situation.
The minister said that during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government the country’s debt rose from Rs. 25,000 billion to over Rs. 44,000 billion.
He also claimed that the previous government failed miserably to increase the tax-GDP ratio and added that in fact, the ratio declined during PTI’s tenure.
The minister also criticized the PTI’s performance in the energy sector and said that during its tenure circular debt rose considerably.