Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ismail to resign amid economic woes

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, who is currently in London, said he will formally resign after reaching Pakistan [File: Faisal Mahmood/Reuters]

Miftah Ismail is the fifth finance minister to quit in less than four years as Pakistan’s economic woes worsened by recent flooding.

Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has said he will formally resign from the role amid an economic crisis exacerbated by the recent devastating flooding, as he becomes the fifth finance minister to resign in less than four years.

“I have verbally resigned as Finance Minister,” Ismail said in a Tweet on Sunday, adding that he had signalled his plans to the country’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a meeting. “I will tender a formal resignation upon reaching Pakistan,” he added.

Ismail and Sharif are currently in London and due to return to Pakistan early next week.

Pakistan’s economy has witnessed persistent turbulence while its current account deficit has widened starkly and rising inflation has put pressure on both families and businesses.

This month’s devastating floods added to the crisis as they caused damage estimated at $30bn and killed more than 1,500 people.

The World Bank said on Saturday it will provide about $2bn in aid to Pakistan.

The World Bank’s vice president for South Asia, Martin Raiser, announced the pledge in an overnight statement after concluding his first official visit to the country on Saturday.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives and livelihoods due to the devastating floods and we are working with the federal and provincial governments to provide immediate relief to those who are most affected,” he said.

The World Bank agreed last week in a meeting with Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to provide $850m in flood relief for Pakistan. The $2bn figure includes that amount.

Over the past two months, Pakistan has sent nearly 10,000 doctors, nurses and other medical staff to tend to survivors in Sindh province – the worst affected by the floods.

Ismail, echoed by the prime minister, reassured investors on Friday that the South Asian nation was seeking debt relief from bilateral creditors and emphasised the government would not seek any relief from commercial banks or Eurobond creditors.



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