While speaking at a seminar on ‘Improving the Corporate Governance and Performance of SOEs’ hosted by the Finance Division on Wednesday, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail stated that the government would lift a ban on the import of certain goods in a “couple of weeks.” “We implemented an official prohibition on a large number of things, which resulted in a great deal of trouble for a large number of individuals. According to Miftah, “as a result, in a few weeks, we will attempt to remove these prohibitions.” “We have placed some prior authorisation conditions on the importation of certain raw materials as well as new machines. In addition to these efforts, decreased oil prices and usage have contributed to a reduction in our imports, he informed those in attendance. According to the information provided by the minister of finance, the government does not lack a sufficient supply of petroleum products. Therefore, fewer of these things would be brought into the country. “For the month of July, we anticipate that import estimates will be somewhere in the range of $4.3-4.4b, which is a significant decline,” he said. “Starting next month, the amount of money that comes into Pakistan through exports and remittances will be more than the amount that goes out through imports and paying off debt. So, there would be less pressure on the rupee, and the value of the currency would go up,” said Miftah. He said that the fall in the value of the rupee was caused by a number of things, such as the US dollar reaching all-time highs around the world, interest rate hikes, global inflation, and problems in the supply chain. Miftah talked about the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme and said that the government reached a staff-level agreement with the Fund authorities earlier this month. He emphasised that the Fund’s previous conditions for loan disbursement have been met. Miftah said that the increase in the petroleum levy, which was said to be a key condition, would happen in stages. Miftah said that the government also changed the power tariff and raised the interest rates, rates for the Long-Term Financing Facility (LTFF), and rates for the Export Financing Scheme (EFS). “We’ve already met the requirements to get the IMF tranche,” he said. He said that the government is talking with friendly countries about selling shares in state-owned companies. He also said that the law is being changed to handle the sales. “We only sell shares in companies that are on the stock market. We’re also not selling a majority or management stake. He said, “The shares will be sold on a buyback basis.” Miftah thought that this would help the country get enough money to meet its needs. “Other countries want to buy some of our power plants, like the Balloki power plant and the Haveli Bahadur Shah power plant. “These power plants owned by the federal government have been on the list of things to sell for a while,” he said. The minister told the seminar that the government would set up a commission of experts from all over the world, including Singapore, to fight corruption. This would be done in consultation with the IMF. According to Miftah, Pakistan’s SOEs have been a source of contention for some time. Privatization, according to Miftah, has been a failure because of poor management, poor service, and a strain on the government’s resources. “Perhaps the privatisation law is not the proper law,” Miftah said, citing examples of government assets that haven’t been privatised. To accelerate privatisation, Miftah asserted that the government must create new laws and mechanisms.