Islamabad, September 15, 2023 – Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, the Caretaker Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, and Privatization, announced that Pakistan’s economy is displaying indications of recovery due to the efforts made by the caretaker government. Speaking at a press conference, Dr. Akhtar highlighted various positive economic indicators.
She stated that “macroeconomic indicators show some improvement. There are signs of economic recovery, even if it is just starting.” The minister emphasized the decline in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which dropped from over 38 percent in May to 27.2 percent at present, marking a significant improvement.
Dr. Akhtar acknowledged that the caretaker government had inherited several challenges but affirmed their commitment to addressing them systematically. The strategy includes prudent financial management, controlling expenditure, and increasing revenues to enhance the country’s economic situation.
She noted positive developments in productive sectors, such as agriculture, where good output is expected in both minor and major crops. This is anticipated to have a positive impact on the country’s economic growth prospects. The industrial sector, particularly the cement industry, is also experiencing growth.
Regarding the services sector, Dr. Akhtar highlighted its significance and its link to other sectors. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) maintaining a stable interest rate was noted as a positive move that reduces the cost of borrowing for industries and promotes their revival.
Dr. Akhtar mentioned that the government had engaged with donors and expressed hope for around $2 billion in assistance on a fast-track basis. She highlighted the importance of sectoral reforms to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and build investor confidence.
The minister revealed that initiatives have been undertaken to improve remittances through formal channels, with Rs80 billion allocated for this purpose, of which Rs20 billion has been released to banks. She also mentioned the stable foreign exchange reserves and the operationalization of the Export-Import Bank.
In conclusion, Dr. Akhtar emphasized that the government is actively working to bring about positive changes, boost economic recovery, and create an environment conducive to self-sustaining growth and foreign investment.