KARACHI: Pakistani Rupee (PKR) has lost its value against a further 1.41 rupees during intraday trade as the currency fell to PKR 175.50 against USD (10:20 PST) on Friday.
In the interbank market, the fall of the Pakistani Rupee continue and the dollar was traded at 176.00, highest in the history. This was due to a delay in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announcement in the release of the next trench of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
On the other hand, business community expressed serious concerns on historical low of local currency against the US dollar.
Vice President Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF), Ahmed Jawad has said that the historic decrease of rupee against the US dollar was an unprecedented event that was never witnessed before in the 74 years history of Pakistan. From 1947 till 1988, we went to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) four times; however, 1998 onwards, seeking an IMF package became more than a fashion for any government, especially since no government wanted to reduce its expenses.
He said that the attitude was the same, whether we talk about the ministries, state-owned enterprises or the provincial governments. Despite there being no end to expenses, the focus was never on reviving the agriculture sector, or working on the small and medium enterprises to make them more viable to transform the country’s economy in the long run. Thus, instead of building the capacity to pay back the loans, the government continued to borrow to service the previous loans.
He said that nobody can guess where the country is currently headed in terms of the exchange rate. The business community and the masses are in utter confusion as to why the people of Pakistan are compelled to purchase petroleum commodities at the rate of Rs147 per litre, an unprecedented occurrence, he added.
The PBF Vice President there is no doubt that depreciation of currency is the mother of all evils, and now Pakistanis may have to forget about any substantial recovery in the rupee.
It has been in freefall. The rupee continues to plummet against the US dollar, spreading shockwaves all over the economy. The currency has lost a considerable amount of its value in the last four months, he maintained.
Falling from 152 to a dollar to the current 175 that the experts are calling this the steepest fall in one span of time in the recorded history since the currency was linked to the dollar in the early 80’s.
Jawad said in the last three years that slippages of the rupee have been even more striking.This slump is owing to a slip between the cup and the lip as Pakistan could not retain the stringent regulation on its current account deficit, besides letting imports swell for reasons of developmental proximity.