KARACHI              -       State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Raza Baqir said yesterday that financial crime was a crucial problem for state bank and choking financing to terrorists was one of their top priorities.

Addressing second Financial Crime Summit (FCS) here, he went on to say that SBP was continuing with reforms in financial sector. “We are heading towards improvement in exchange rate. The decision for making change in exchange rate was correct. The new system of exchange rate has led to restore confidence among the people,” he added.

“Softening the terms is linked to better situation. Documentary activities are being bolstered by eliminating unorganized activities. The mindset of those opposing the documentation of economy is changing.”

He held that citizens had changed their foreign currency account to saving account. This led to benefit the economy. The national kitty was becoming empty owing to pressure on foreign exchange. But today’s situation was far better than before. Foreign exchange reserves of the country were witnessing upswing. People were inclining towards savings.

Raza Baqir said curbing money laundering was very vital objective in economic reforms. Financial crimes were extremely important for SBP. “Our country was affected by terrorism more than any other country. Choking funding to terrorists is our top most priority.  This will benefit us more than any other country.

“We implemented FATF conditions and work is underway on 27 conditions of FATF. Laws have been enacted to curb trade-based money laundering and terror financing. International institutions are also lauding Pakistan efforts, he underscored.

Baqir said country’s foreign reserves were increasing. “Today’s situation is far better than the past.”

Baqir said people were now taking interest in saving. The governor said economic situation of the country was improving with every passing day, the decision to change exchange rate now bearing fruits.

Baqir said Pakistan was badly affected due to terrorism and added that Islamabad working to fulfill requirement of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which was in favour of Pakistan.

On Thursday, the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) net reserves were increased by $120 million to $9.23 billion during the week ending December 6.

According to the central bank’s data, the country’s total foreign reserves stood at $16.4 billion.

According to breakup, foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan stood at $9.23 billion, while net foreign reserves held by commercial banks were recorded at $6.81 billion.