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Miftah Ismail terms Dar’s exchange rate policy ‘a joke with the economy’

Former finance minister Miftah Ismail terms his successor Ishaq Dar’s, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, exchange rate policy as a joke with the economy!

Ismail slammed the policy of artificially managing the dollar rate, saying that it was “not a serious economic policy but a joke with the economy”.

Ismail commenting on the rupee’s sharp downfall on a Geo News programme, said that it was a bad day for Pakistan’s economy that the dollar had reached close to Rs300 and the interest rate had touched 20% after a massive 3% hike.

While indirectly criticizing Dar, Miftah lamented that holding the dollar artificially at 240 was not needed especially at a time when the government did not have funds.

“When you leave the dollar to the free market on the IMF’s condition, it jumps from 230 to 260. Then you decrease the price of petrol and in two days it [dollar] rises again by Rs30. This is not a serious economic policy but a joke with the economy,” he said.

He further added that if the government wanted to hold the dollar rate at Rs180 artificially then it should have stopped it at Rs12.

“If you can set the rate on your own, then make it Rs10 or make one dollar equal to Rs1, this is all ridiculous,” he said.

Later in the day while making an appearance on Geo News programme “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath”, the former finance minister warned that the default risk looming over Pakistan may not be over even if it secures the $1 billion tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of the $6.5 billion bailout.


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