KARACHI: The US dollar has lost around Rs4.14 against the Pakistan Rupee (PKR) during last four sessions to end at Rs197.87 in the interbank foreign exchange market on Wednesday.
The dollar hit record high at Rs202.01 on May 26, 2022. However, with the decision of the government to partially withdraw the subsidy to get next tranche of the IMF, the rupee sharply made gains against the dollar.
The exchange rate witnessed 59 paisas gain in rupee value against the dollar on Wednesday from previous day’s closing of Rs198.46 in the interbank foreign exchange market.
The market sources said that the rupee remained in recovery mode due to rumors of further tightening on fiscal side.
The exchange rate was at Rs185.63 on April 29, 2022 and since then the local unit continued its free fall to reach at the historic level of Rs202.01 to the dollar on May 26, 2022.
The rupee remained under pressure against the greenback during the current fiscal year. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has taken various measures to support balance of payment and the local currency. However, the measures ended in a failure to help the rupee to recover losses.
The SBP on May 23, 2022 announced a sharp increase in policy rate by 150 basis points to 13.75 per cent from 12.25 per cent.
Recently the government announced to impose a complete ban on imports to support balance of payment and help rupee to stable. However, these measures appeared in failure as the exchange rate yet again deteriorated today massively.
Currency experts said that massive fall in foreign exchange reserves and high import payments were the major reasons behind rupee fall.
Pakistan’s foreign exchange (forex) reserves eased to $16.15 billion by week ended May 20, 2022. The foreign exchange reserves were at $16.161 billion a week ago i.e. May 13, 2022. The country’s foreign exchange reserves hit record high at $27.228 billion by week ended August 27, 2021. Since then the foreign exchange reserves have depleted by $11.078 billion.
The official reserves of the State Bank witnessed a decline of $178 million to $10.089 billion by week ended May 20, 2022 as compared with $10.164 billion a week ago. The SBP reserves reached to record high at $20.145 billion by August 27, 2021. The official reserves also fell by $10.056 billion after reaching record high. The official reserves of the SBP have been reduced to provide import payment cover for only 1 ½ months.
The import bill of the country surged by 46.41 per cent to $65.49 billion during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year as compared with $44.73 billion in the corresponding months of the last fiscal year.
Pakistan is a net importer of petroleum products to meet its domestic demand. The country’s energy bill was $17.03 billion during the first nine 10 months (July – April) 2021/2022 as compared with $8.69 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year, showing a massive growth of 96 per cent. The oil bill is around 25 per cent of the total import bill of the country.