Pakistani Finance Minister wins IMF/WB’s ‘Finance Minister 2016 for South Asia award’

Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has been declared as the Finance Minister of the Year 2016 for South Asia. Emerging Markets, Global Capital, a newspaper of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank (IMF/World Bank) awarded this title on the said Finance Minister for his enormous services in uplifting the country economically and financially.

The Award is recognition of Pakistan’s economic performance at the IMF / World Bank Annual Meeting which is one of the major gatherings of international financial and economic leaders and experts.

Finance Minister has been awarded with this title in his absence from the annual meeting of IMF/ WB in Washington. Ishaq Dar had to cancel his visit to Washington for the Annual Meeting due to situation on the Line of Control, the All-Parties Conference and Joint Session of the Parliament on Kashmir situation. He authorized Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Jalil Abbas Jilani to receive the award on his behalf.

The newspaper writes that Ishaq Dar’s more than three years at the helm of Pakistan’s Finance Ministry can be considered as unalloyed success. Not because of the South Asian economy’s finance are in a perfect state or likely ever will be. Or because it is suddenly clear to the wider world that this highlight populated nation is an ideal place for corporate and institutional investors to put their money to work.

Dar’s greatest success in a way has been to keep Pakistan off front pages. During his tenure there has been no full-blown economic or financial crisis or any desperate entreaties to the international monetary fund for a bailout. The IMF tips the economy to grow by 4.5% in 2016 and 4.7% in 2017 after expanding by 4.2% in 2015, itself the highest rate of growth since the global financial crisis.  What has gone right? A concerted p8ush to boost tax revenues has certainly helped; date from the Federal Board of show that the nation’s tax take increased 16.9% year on year in last full fiscal year to the end March 2016. Inflation is set to come in at 3.3% in full year 2016, the IMF says with the current account deficit steady at shade over 1%.  Another healthy metric is the state of country’s foreign exchange reserves which bottomed out at around $7 billion in mid-2014. They have been on the rise ever since helped by financial aid from IMF. Pakistan’s total stock liquid foreign exchange reserves hit $23.04 billion on August 26, according to date from Sate Bank of Pakistan, all time high.  Through it all Dar has kept a steady hand on tiller like the politician he is. His standing in Islamabad was underscored in May 2016 when Nawaz Sharif flew to London to undergo open heart surgery. Dar was chosen to stand in for premier during his absence. His reputation was further enhanced in June when Pakistan readmitted to MSCI’s Emerging Markets Index having been dropped from it in 2008. Off course in Pakistan bad times always to be seen just around the corner. The resource-scarce economy has benefited as has its giants neighbour and rival India from low global oil prices.

FPCCI congratulates Dar for winning int’l award

Business community trusts economic competence of FM: Rauf Alam

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) congratulated Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for winning the best Finance Minister Award. The award is recognition of Pakistan’s economic performance led by minister’s sound economic policies, it said.

 President FPCCI Abdul Rauf Alam hoped that Ishaq Dar and his team of dedicated professionals will continue to work towards economic stability of the country which is imperative for prosperity. Winning the award of best finance minister of South Asia is an honour for Pakistan as economic indicators have improved during the last three years, he added. Abdul Rauf Alam said that the award is recognition of Pakistan’s economic performance which is being acknowledged around the globe.

 President FPCCI said that the stock markets have been merged in one market, foreign exchange reserves are at t satisfactory level, exchange rate is stable and CPEC is bound to change the fate of the nation. The awards given by the Global Organisation, “Emerging Markets” in recognition of Ishaq Dar’s contribution in improving economy and infrastructure development, he noted. Pakistan under his guidance has become an important regional economy due to focus on core economic issues, he said, adding that we have full faith in the economic competence of Mr Dar.

Terror -elated attacks remain an ever present threat which growth rates despite inching up in recent years should for an emerging market with ample non energy resources be for higher. But there is a feeling that Pakistan is now on the right path. Its finances are in better if not yet great shape inflation and current account deficit are under control. China’s vast One Belt One Road project should bring riches from both east and west and nation now has sufficient financial reserves to survive crisis.

Arshad Chaudhary

Author is an editor of Melange International

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