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PM Imran admits ignorance about Pakistan's power sector woes before taking office

09:51 PM | 19 Dec, 2020
PM Imran admits ignorance about Pakistan's power sector woes before taking office

LAHORE – Prime Minister Imran Khan has admitted he was not fully aware of how bad Pakistan’s financial situation was when he came into power two years ago.

The cricketer-turned politician, who became the 22nd premier of the South Asian country in 2018, appeared on a national TV for an interview to share, “Before becoming the prime minister, I was incognizant of how circular debt of the country rises”.

He told the host of Samaa's NewsBeat that he did not have a button to turn everything right, adding that when he came into power, Pakistan s debt was between Rs 6,000 billion to Rs 30,000 billion while the country’s foreign exchange reserves had reached zero.

The PM’s confession supports the current poor situation of circular debt, which has surged to whooping Rs2,300 billion [Rs2.3 trillion] despite his government’s tall claims of arresting it.

In Pakistan, circular debt is a public debt which is a cascade of unpaid government subsidies, which results in accumulation of debt on power distribution companies. 

Currently, the government is giving subsidy of around Rs3 on every unit of electricity, instead of costing original power cost. 

When this happens, the distribution companies cannot pay independent power producers (IPP) who in turn, are unable to pay fuel providing companies thus creating the debt effect as prevalent in the country.

Since the PTI came into power, the circular debt of the sector has surged by Rs1,139 billion.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 22 February 2024

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 22, 2024 (Thursday)

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.6 for buying and 282.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 300.2 for buying and 303.2 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 350.6 for buying, and 354.1 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.2 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.45.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 22 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.6 282.4
Euro EUR 300.2 303.2
UK Pound Sterling GBP 350.6 354.1
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.2 76.95
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.45 75.2
Australian Dollar AUD 181.15 183.15
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.32 751.32
Canadian Dollar CAD 207.15 209.15
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.74 36.09
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.41 911.41
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 725.96 733.96
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207.1 209.1
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 316.9 319.4
Thai Bhat THB 7.93 8.08

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