Pak rupee continues to take a battering

by IANS |

Karachi, May 14 (IANS) The Pakistani rupee has maintained its downward streak for the last few sessions now, as it crossed Rs 192 against the US dollar on Friday, amid rapid depletion in foreign exchange reserves and uncertainty over the revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

The rupee was trading at Rs 193 during intraday trading; however, with a loss of Rs 0.76, or 0.4 per cent, the local unit closed at Rs 192.53 on Friday. The slide of the local unit was weighed down by a surging trade deficit, dwindling foreign exchange reserves - that dropped to their lowest level since December 2019 - and a delay in the release of the IMF tranche, The News reported.

Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP) Chairman Malik Bostan said that the widening trade deficit and political uncertainty are adding pressure on the dwindling rupee.

"When the new government took charge, the rupee recovered to Rs 181 from a record high-level of Rs 189; however, after ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan announced to hold a long march, the rupee once again broke all records," he said.

Bostan maintained that if the political crisis continues, the "situation will get out of hand".

Regarding the IMF programme, the analyst added that talks with the Fund are very important and the government needs to take some tough decisions to revive the stalled programme.

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