‘I want to tell everyone not to worry about the dollar hike’

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Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday his government was taking steps to ensure that a shortage of dollars would not exist in the future.

Addressing a ceremony to announce the launch of a car manufacturing plant by JW Forland, the prime minister spoke on the dollar reaching an all-time high of Rs142 in the interbank.

The prime minister said he had been receiving calls since morning about the hike in the dollar price. “I want to tell everyone not to worry about the dollar hike. There is an adjustment taking place. We are taking steps which will ensure that there won’t be a shortage of dollars in Pakistan.”

The prime minister highlighted that Pakistan’s biggest problem was the current account deficit which stood at almost $18.5 billion. “The government is tasked with overcoming the deficit. When there is pressure on the dollar, the exchange rate increases.”

Prime Minister Khan stressed there was a need for a change in mindset, emphasising that his government had made investment easier. “Investment creates jobs and brings dollars in the country.”

He spoke on ease of doing business for investors, which in turn would attract more investors. According to the prime minister, there was a need for technological transfer, which he said was among the areas of focus during his trip to China.

“For the first time, we have asked China for a technology transfer. When there is technology transfer, the country prospers.”

The prime minister further said that Pakistan had transformed into an import economy where manufacturing had diminished. “Where there were once factories, real estate projects now exist.”

Prime Minister Khan said for the first time in Pakistan’s history a complete car manufacturing plant was being set up and this would create 5,000 jobs which would increase to 35,000 in the future.

Speaking on the issue of money laundering, Prime Minister Khan said the government was taking steps to bring back looted money. “There is $10 billion of money laundering annually in Pakistan.”