Businessmen say strengthen rupee much needed to boost economy


ISLAMABAD, JAN 3 (DNA) – The Business Community seeks major correction in exchange rate against dollar in the year of 2021. Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) Vice President, Ahmad Jawad said country exports starts increasing including positive improvement in remittances as well as surplus in the current account structure; now free float concept may be stop and Government must go for certain measures to strengthen Pak Rupee against dollar which is much needed to boost economy.

Jawad said “exchange rate is a fundamental ‘price’ in the economy, and getting it right is essential not just for boosting the export sector but also for providing a measure of protection to domestic industry”

The Pakistani Rupee had a volatile 2020 after starting the year at Rs. 154.87 against the US Dollar. The local currency ended the year at Rs. 159.83 against the greenback after touching an all-time low of Rs. 168.43 during the year.

In the calendar year (2020), the lowest exchange rate that PKR-USD recorded was Rs. 154.1697 to the USD on February 14, 2020, and the highest exchange rate was Rs. 168.43 to the USD on August 26, 2020.

According to the financial analytics platform, Capital Stake, the year-to-date change in the Rupee was still down by Rs. 4.99 (or 3.22 percent) deterioration against the greenback. The month to date movement for the Rupee has also been downward with a loss of Rs. 0.41 in total (or 0.26 percent) against the USD. However, if compared with the 52-week high of Rs. 168.43, the domestic currency saw a recovery of 5.11 percent or Rs. 8.6 versus the dollar.

The year was initially stable going for a plunge all the way to Rs. 168 (due to ambiguity over Coronavirus and economic shutdown). However, flows from multilateral lenders, remittances growth, compressed imports & export resurgence has kept Rupee solid at Rs. 160.

Jawad also added the Rupee will recover with the inflows. Pakistan offers the fourth highest one-year interest rate of 7.4 per cent in emerging markets, but this is not high enough to encourage inflows into Pakistani rupee bonds.=DNA