ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said that announced Pakistanis could be sent to help Afghanistan.
The finance minister was speaking during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance chaired by Senator Talha Mehmood. “People could be sent from Pakistan to run various affairs in Afghanistan,” he told the committe.
The minister announced that trade with Afghanistan will be carried out in Pakistani currency as the neigbouring country was facing a shortage of dollars.
He maintained that Afghanistan is facing a shortage of dollars as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have seized its reserves after the Taliban’s takeover.
Tarin told the Senate committee that the government has decided to trade with Afghanistan in Pakistani currency instead of dollars. He added that they were monitoring the situation on a daily basis.
Tarin termed food prices the biggest issue of Pakistan and said that the current account deficit has been increasing since April. He said Pakistan received $450 million from the Asian Development for procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. He vowed to take the country’s GDP growth to 4.8% during the current fiscal year.
Earlier on August 17, a US administration official had said that the Taliban will be denied access to any Afghan reserves held in US accounts. According to the IMF, the central bank’s gross reserves totalled $9.4 billion at the end of April. But most of those funds are held outside of Afghanistan.
India hacked FBR’s system
The finance minister disclosed that Indian hackers had targeted the database of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and was hacked for seven days.
He said the FBR’s system was also hacked by the Indians in 2019 and is now being updated after the cyber attack. He said action has been taken against those responsible for the attack.
The cyber attack on Pakistan’s largest data centre run by the FBR took place on independence day August 14. The FBR had submitted a report on the cyber attack based on technical inputs and initial findings to the finance minister. The hackers managed to bringing down all the official websites operated by the tax machinery.