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Farrukh Saleem appointed govt’s spokesperson on economy, energy issues

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday announced that political scientist and journalist Dr Farrukh Saleem has been appointed as government’s spokesperson on economy and energy issues, ARY News reported.

“Ministry of Information is pleased to announce that Dr Farrukh Saleem will be the government’s spokesperson on economy and energy issues, notification shall follow accordingly,” the information minister wrote on his Twitter account.

An economist, financial analyst and TV personality, Farrukh Saleem also writes columns on economic affairs for English-language daily.

The appointment comes after Pakistani rupee plunged about 7 percent in an apparent central bank devaluation, while the stock market snapped a six-day skid after the government said it plans to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Acccording to a statement released by Ministry of Finance on Monday, the government, “after taking into account the current situation and consultation with the leading economists” decided to approach the IMF for stabilisation and an “economic recovery program”.

The statement explained that immediately upon assuming office, the present government had expressed serious concerns on the dire economic situation of the country and had committed to undertake a quick evaluation of all possible options.

“The government inherited 6.6% of fiscal deficit, more than a trillion rupees of unaccounted for losses in the energy sector and an unprecedented and debilitating current account deficit running at $2 billion a month. To correct the underlying imbalances, fiscal and monetary actions needed to be undertaken without delay,” the press statement noted.

In order to avail the program, Finance Minister Asad Umar will hold meetings with the top leadership of IMF during the annual meetings of World Bank / IMF in Indonesia’s Bali city later this week.

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