Rupee to see improvement 'in next two weeks': Miftah.

ISLAMABAD -- Finance minister Miftah Ismail on Sunday said that the Pakistani rupee, which has taken a beating against the US dollar in recent weeks, should see some improvement "in the two weeks".Ismail was addressing a press conference to speak about Pakistan's economic path forward."I really think - although I never like to speculate on the currency market - but I really think that the rupee's true value is far greater [than what it is right now]," the finance minister said.He explained that in the past two months, Pakistan had to part with "a billion and another billion", which put pressure on the local currency.Ismail said that Pakistan bought petroleum products worth Rs3.8 million for which payment was made in July, which is why there was a lot of pressure on the rupee."This month, the State Bank had to pay $800 million more compared to the country's inflows," he added.Ismail said that efforts will be geared towards more dollars coming in daily and fewer leaving the country next month. "With our efforts to reduce imports and InshaAllah, with the daily rise in incoming dollars versus a decline in outgoing units, there will be a surplus [of dollars]," he said."This will lead to a reduced pressure [on the rupee] and the dollar's value against the rupee should then see a slight drop," the minister added.Ismail said that he has hope that the "next two weeks will InshaAllah be better".He cautioned, though, that although this is his view since he believes "the fundamentals are in Pakistan's favour", but "speculation and sentiments also play a role in this".The finance minister said that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has recommended removing the ban on imports. If approved by the cabinet and signed off on by the prime minister, several items will no longer be banned. A ban will continue to remain, however, on imported cars, mobile phones and home appliances.Ismail said that the government aims to convert the current account deficit into surplus. "In the short term, we reduced imports and now over the next two to three months, we will increase exports," he said.The finance minister, to a question on what the...

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