US dollar takes another big bite off Pakistani rupee


ISLAMABAD, JAN 09 (DNA) — The continuous depleting forex reserves and lack of foreign inflows are taking their toll on the stability of Pakistani rupee as the local unit shed another 26 paisas in its value against US dollar in the interbank trading on Monday.

The currency dealers informed that during today’s morning trading session, the PKR slid 26 notches down letting greenback to be traded at Rs227.40. On the last day of trading activity on Friday, the exchange rate recorded a dip of 2 paisas to close at Rs227.14 to the US dollar.

Pakistan is facing a serious forex crunch as the foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) dropped by $245 million to $5.57 billion during the week ended on December 30, 2022. 

It is pertinent to mention here that the current level of foreign currency reserves is barely enough to cover 1.08 months of import bill. Meanwhile, the total debt of the central government rose to Rs50.9 trillion in November 2022, compared to Rs47.8tr in June 2022, registering an increase of Rs3.2tr or 6.52% in 5MFY23. A sharp decline in the foreign exchange reserves and a delay in the IMF loan programme are also causing rupee devaluation. 

However, the IMF spokesperson on Sunday informed that a delegation of the Fund would meet Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on the sidelines of the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan conference today (Jan 9) to discuss outstanding issues and the path forward. 

During her conversation with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday, IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva assured that a team would visit Pakistan in days to come for a review of the economy. If Pakistan gets much-needed tranche in time, the market would get positive vibes and it would help lift some of the pressure on the local currency. = DNA