Imports fell to $5 billion in July, down 35 percent from a monthly high of $7.7 billion in June, Mifta Ismail told a news conference in Islamabad.
The Central Bank and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics have yet to release July figures.
“It’s very popular,” Ismail said, adding that it was the result of his government’s ban on all non-essential imports. “This will remove pressure on the rupee,” he said.
The rupee edged up to 239.37 against the dollar on Friday, having lost about 5 percent last week and more than a quarter of its value this year.
The ban on non-essential imports was lifted last week, with the exception of cars, mobile phones and household appliances.
Ismail said his government has decided to significantly reduce the current account deficit and achieve a surplus within a year or two.
The South Asian country’s foreign exchange reserves are rapidly drying up and it is struggling to fund a widening current account deficit, which surged by $2.3 billion in June, largely due to higher oil imports.
The deficit for the fiscal year ended June 30 was $17.4 billion, compared with $2.8 billion the previous year.
In early July, Pakistan reached a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund to pay $1.17 billion under a rescue package to resume payments.