Dar vows to bring dollar below Rs 200

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Says Khan’s speeches at his public gatherings reflect his frustration

Shujaat Hamza

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Monday accused PTI Chairman Imran Khan of destroying the economy and assured the masses that he would bring the dollar value below 200 with the help of his policies.

“The actual value of the Pakistani rupee is less than 200 against the greenback and it will be brought down as it is currently undervalued,” he said during a TV talk show.

He mentioned that the dollar value is strong internationally, but “we will bring it down below 200 against our currency soon.”

Since Dar was sworn in on September 28, the seasoned politician and chartered accountant faces the daunting task of stabilising an economy that has for months been in a tailspin, facing multiple threats of high inflation, a widening current account deficit and falling reserves.

He has strongly favoured intervention in currency markets in three previous stints in the job and is also expected to strengthen the currency which closed at Rs 227.29 against the US dollar on Monday.

The finance minister went on to say that Khan’s speeches at his public gatherings reflect his frustration, saying that “deals and favouritism” are part of Khan’s fate.

“Khan contested the elections by cracking deals and staged demonstrations by cracking deals,” he said, lambasting the PTI chief for holding Islamabad hostage for 126 days which delayed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Warning him of serious repercussions, Dar urged Khan to take him seriously and stay within his limits.

“Khan and his entire team are obsessed with me because they fear that we [PML-N] will stabilise the economy of Pakistan once again as we did back in 2013,” he said, reiterating his suggestion that the country needs a charter of the economy.

“The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) is an independent institution and it does not involve in manipulative activities,” he said while replying to a question regarding the PTI leader Hammad Azhar accusing Dar of manipulating the economic data.

A day earlier, Miftah termed the government’s decision to not increase the petroleum development levy (PDL) this month without IMF’s approval, “reckless”.