ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Asad Umar has told the Senate that the value of Pakistan’s foreign reserves at present i.e. February 20, 2019 are $14793 million.
In a written reply, the minister told the House that out of a total of $14793 million, reserves held with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) are $8013 million while reserves held with commercial banks are $6780 million.
Asad Umar said that the government is cognizant of the emerging risks in the balance of payments position and has taken measures to curtail imports which will reduce the current account deficit.
The minister told that the SBP has withdrawn the facility of advance payments against imports with few exceptions and has imposed 100% cash margin requirement on import of various nonessential items. For the same purpose, the government of Pakistan also imposed custom duties on luxury and nonessential items.
Similarly, the SBP is pursuing monetary tightening to curb aggregate demand in the economy, which would help in reducing current account deficit to more manageable levels. Since January 2018, the SBP has increased the policy rate by 450 bps.
The finance minister said that at the same time, to finance the current account deficit, the government is arranging financing through multilateral/bilateral sources including Saudi Arabia, UAE and China.