Pakistan's finance minister says he will formally resign from role


FILE PHOTO: Miftah Ismail, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Islamabad, Pakistan, September 18, 2022. REUTERS/Salahuddin

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -Pakistan's finance minister Miftah Ismail said on Sunday he planned to formally resign from the role, a change that comes as the country grapples with an economic crisis exacerbated by destructive flooding.

"I have verbally resigned as Finance Minister," Ismail said in a Tweet, adding that he had signalled his plans to the country's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a meeting. "I will tender a formal resignation upon reaching Pakistan," he added.

Ismail and Sharif are currently in London and due to return to Pakistan early next week.

Ismail is the fifth finance minister to be replaced in less than four years as Pakistan's economy has witnessed persistent turbulence while its current account deficit has widened starkly and rising inflation has put pressure on both families and businesses.

Adding to the crisis, devastating floods engulfed large swathes of Pakistan this month. The disaster killed more than 1,500 people and caused damage estimated at $30 billion, fanning fears that Pakistan would not meet its debts.

Ismail, echoed by the Prime Minister, reassured investors on Friday that the South Asian nation was seeking debt relief from bilateral creditors and emphasised the government would not seek any relief from commercial banks or Eurobond creditors.

(Reporting by Asif Shahzad; writing by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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