Ishaq Dar takes oath as new finance minister

Author: Web Desk

PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar took oath as a federal finance minister on Wednesday after he was sworn in as a senator on Tuesday.

President Arif Alvi administered the oath to Dar at Aiwan-e-Sadar. This will be the fourth time Dar is heading the ministry.

Dar returned to Pakistan from London after a self-exile of more than five years.

Ishaq Dar had remained out of the country since October 2017 until an accountability court suspended his arrest warrant last week.

Dar is all set to get the finance ministry portfolio in line with the decision made during a London meeting of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Earlier, PML-N leader Miftah Ismail Tuesday officially stepped down as the finance minister of the country by handing over his resignation letter to PM Shehbaz.

“I have returned to my country by the grace of God. I will try my best to pull Pakistan out of the [economic] maelstrom it is surrounded with,” Dar had said after turning back to Pakistan.

“[We] pulled Pakistan out of an economic maelstrom back in 1998 and 2013,” the incoming finance minister said.

Dar has returned to “assist” the government’s efforts to revive the cash-strapped economy by assuming control of the finance ministry’s crucial responsibilities.

Separately, in a question-and-answer break during the Senate session, blaming the hundi and hawala businesses, Dar said that the rupee’s value is artificially low, adding that such practices cannot hold the local currency hostage.

Dar said that the US dollar depreciated by around Rs10 against the rupee since he landed in the country, stating that one of the problems faced by the country is the artificial depreciation of the rupee.

“Inflation is also high,” he said listing the issues that the coalition government has to fix.

The PML-N leader claimed that due to the rupee’s recent market gains, the country’s debt dropped by Rs. 1,350 billion in less than 24 hours. He also emphasised the necessity of amending the prior finance measure.

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