KARACHI: The free-fall in Pakistan Rupee (PKR) continued on Thursday as the US dollar advanced to make a new high at Rs191.77 at close of interbank foreign exchange market.
The exchange rate witnessed a decline of Rs1.75 in Pak Rupee (PKR) to end at Rs191.77 from previous close of Rs190.02 in the interbank foreign exchange market.
Currency experts said that falling foreign exchange reserves and high import payments were the main reasons behind rupee fall.
The rupee continued its free fall for the seventh consecutive day.
Pakistan is net importer of petroleum products to meet its domestic demand. The country’s import bill was $14.81 billion during the first nine months (July – March) 2021/2022 as compared with $7.55 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 country.
The depleting foreign exchange reserves are also putting pressure on the local currency.
According to details released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the official reserves of the central bank fell by $328 million to $10.558 billion by the week ended April 23, 2022 as compared with $10.886 billion a week ago. The net foreign exchange reserves of the SBP also include $3 billion from Saudi Arabia, which was deposited with the central bank to support balance of payment.
The foreign exchange reserves of the country fell to $16.668 billion by week ended April 23, 2022 as compared with $17.045 billion by week ended April 16, 2022.
Pakistan total import bills recorded an increase of 49 per cent to $58.87 billion during the first nine months of the current fiscal year as compared with $39.49 billion in the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.
This resulted in huge widening in trade deficit of 70 per cent. The trade deficit of the country swelled to $35.39 billion during first nine months of the current fiscal year as compared with the deficit of $20.8 billion in the corresponding months of the last fiscal year.