ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar made a surprise visit to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) headquarters on Wednesday to mark the MSCI reclassification of Pakistan’s capital market in the Emerging Markets category.

The minister called it a historic day. “We have regained the status which we had lost after 2008 stock market crisis.”

He invited all political parties to join the government in formulating a future economic road-map and repeated the resolve not to extend the IMF programme after the conclusion of the current one this year.

“We recognise the IMF role towards stabilising Pakistan’s fiscal position,” he added.

He said that the country’s foreign exchange reserves will reach $22 billion by the end of July 2016 and declared that the government will now focus on growth and development.

He acknowledged the contribution of Zarb-i-Azb in improving security situation and winning the confidence of investors.

The finance minister said that the Companies Bill 2016 would soon be introduced in the parliament.

Senator Dar said that the government has prepared a road-map for the next three years to achieve the GDP growth of 7pc.

“Measures will be taken to raise the foreign exchange reserves to $30bn, fix the fiscal deficit below four per cent of the GDP and maintain the inflation in single digits,” he said.

SECP Chairman Zafar Hijazi highlighted the factors which contributed to winning back the status and mentioned the recommendations made in the Shamim Ahmed Khan’s report on Stock Exchange crisis of 2008.

“Pakistan would hopefully achieve up to 80pc compliance with the IOSCO principles from the existing level of 62pc,” he added.

He said that the SECP had constituted a committee, comprising all stakeholders to search for an effective strategic investor for PSX.

Mr Hijazi expressed confidence that PSX would be able to attract global strategic investors and financial institutions and form technological partnerships to fulfill the objectives of integration and become a major regional investment hub.

The chairman, board of directors, Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Muneer Kamal, said that the stakeholders were confident that Pakistan would regain the status that was driving index up for the last few days.

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