Miftah Ismail is the fifth finance minister to resign in less than four years as Pakistan’s economic problems worsened by recent floods.
Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has announced he will officially step down amid an economic crisis exacerbated by recent devastating floods, as he becomes the fifth finance minister to step down in less than four years.
“I have verbally resigned as Finance Minister,” Ismail said in a tweet on Sunday, adding that he signaled his plans to the country’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a meeting. “I will submit a formal resignation as soon as I reach Pakistan,” he added.
Ismail and Sharif are currently in London and will return to Pakistan early next week.
At a meeting today with Mian Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, I verbally resigned as Finance Minister. I will submit a formal resignation as soon as I reach Pakistan. It was an honor for me to be Treasury Secretary twice. Pakistan Paindabad
— Miftah Ismail (@MiftahIsmail) September 25, 2022
Pakistan’s economy has experienced continued turmoil, while the current account deficit has widened sharply and rising inflation has put pressure on both families and businesses.
The devastating floods that month contributed to the crisis, causing an estimated $30 billion in damage and killing more than 1,500 people.
The World Bank said on Saturday it would provide around $2 billion in aid to Pakistan.
World Bank Vice President for South Asia Martin Raiser announced the pledge in a late night statement after completing his first official visit to the country on Saturday.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and livelihoods due to the devastating floods and are working with federal and provincial governments to provide immediate relief to those most affected,” he said.
The World Bank agreed to provide $850 million in flood relief to Pakistan at a meeting with Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last week. The $2 billion figure includes that amount.
Over the past two months, Pakistan has dispatched nearly 10,000 doctors, nurses and other medical workers to care for survivors in Sindh province – the province hardest hit by the floods.
Ismail on Friday, along with the prime minister, reassured investors that the South Asian nation is seeking debt relief from bilateral creditors, stressing the government will not seek relief from commercial banks or Eurobond holders.