Pakistani Finance Minister Sees Gradual Recovery From Floods


Pakistani Finance Minister Sees Gradual Recovery From Floods

WASHINGTON – Pakistan's new finance minister estimates that it will take "about three years" for the South Asian country to recover from devastating floods that have killed more than 1,700 people and displaced 7.9 million.

Ishak Dar, who took a job in finance last month for the fourth time in his career, told The Associated Press on Friday that flood damage exceeded $32 billion and that the cost of rebuilding damaged infrastructure would exceed $16 billion.

Monsoon rains, likely exacerbated by climate change, have swept Pakistan for months since mid-June, destroying or razing two million homes.

Dar said the reconstruction "can't happen overnight" and would take "probably three years", though he admitted he was "not an engineer". Last month, the World Bank pledged $2 billion in flood aid.

Dar returned to the Ministry of Finance at a difficult time for Pakistan. Moody's Investors Service downgraded the country's public debt rating this month, citing low foreign exchange reserves in Pakistan. With inflation rising to more than 20% annually, the value of the Pakistani currency, the rupee, has depreciated by 19% against the US dollar this year.

But Dar, who was famous for supporting a strong rupee during his previous tenure as finance minister, noted that the currency had recovered since returning to work; It has risen about 10% against the dollar since the end of September.

He is visiting Washington House this week to attend the fall meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The tour started well.

Unidentified persons arrested him and called him a "thief" after arriving at Dulles International Airport on Thursday.

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On Friday, he denied the incident, which was recorded in the video and shared on the Internet, as the work of political opponents of the government of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif. "It is clear that domestic politics has crossed the border," Dar said. "do not be".

Live from London: Bloomberg Report 12/09/2022


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