ECAP Chief Envisions Dollar at PKR 250 Amidst Robust Crackdown on Currency Smuggling

ECAP Chief Envisions Dollar at PKR 250 Amidst Robust Crackdown on Currency Smuggling

Karachi, September 13, 2023 –Malik Bostan, Chairman of the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP), has expressed optimism that the Pakistani Rupee (PKR) may strengthen to PKR 250 against the US Dollar following a massive crackdown on currency smuggling and hoarding.

This positive outlook comes in the wake of a rigorous campaign against the “dollar mafia” initiated under the directives of Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir.

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In a statement issued on Wednesday, Bostan emphasized the tangible improvements resulting from the crackdown, noting a continuous decrease in the dollar’s exchange rate. On the very day of the announcement, the dollar’s rate dipped below PKR 300 in both interbank and open currency markets.

The entire nation has applauded General Asim Munir’s proactive approach, as he has taken on responsibilities that were initially expected of the civil government. Bostan commended the Army Chief’s efforts, asserting that this crackdown demonstrates the success that can be achieved when decisive measures are taken. He also highlighted the positive outcomes of this initiative, such as the reduction in sugar prices, with expectations of decreases in electricity and petrol rates in the near future.

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Furthermore, Bostan predicted a further decline in the dollar’s value, stating that in the coming days, it could reach PKR 290 in the first phase. If the operation continues at its current pace, the dollar could reach levels as low as PKR 280 and PKR 270. There is even speculation that the dollar could eventually stabilize at an impressive PKR 250.

One of the notable effects of the crackdown has been the increased supply of foreign exchange by exchange companies. According to Bostan, these companies have been selling up to 15 million dollars daily in the interbank market, a significant surge compared to the 5 to 7 million dollars sold in the previous year. This trend is expected to continue, with an anticipated daily sale of 20 million dollars in the interbank market and a total sale of 500 million dollars throughout the month.

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To ensure transparency and accountability in the currency exchange process, exchange companies are now scrutinizing clients’ details and even visiting their homes to verify the sources of their foreign currency. Bostan believes that this scrutiny will help thwart any attempts to undermine the progress achieved through the crackdown.

However, Bostan has called for additional measures to safeguard these positive developments. He suggested that the government should establish a system where individuals holding foreign currency can register their holdings, making it easier for authorities to verify the legitimacy of such funds. Additionally, he proposed that a complaint mechanism be put in place to address any incidents of harassment or misconduct during currency transactions.

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Bostan emphasized the importance of protecting the gains made thus far, underscoring that for every successful initiative, the well-being of the people must be a priority. He expressed concern that any return to the black market could undermine the hard work put in by Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir, which is something they are determined to prevent at all costs. A better future for Pakistan, he concluded, hinges on both success and the safeguarding of its citizens.