LAHORE: As the rupee hit the 11-month low of Rs166 against the US dollar in the inter-bank as well as open markets the Friends of Business and Economic Reforms (FEBR) President Kashif Anwar has urged the central bank to play its role to strengthen rupee value, as the lowering rupee value has been hitting import-based economy of the country hard.
He expressed the fear that the government is letting the rupee move down in search for its value fit for resuming the IMF $6 billion loan program which is on hold for the past two months, but it would impact negatively on the country’s overall economy, he added. It is not understandable that the State Bank of Pakistan received $2.75 billion from the Washington-based global lender and these receipts have boosted the country’s foreign currency reserves to all-time high at $20.4 billion but has reversal effect on value of local currency.
Kashif Anwar observed that the economic growth and industrialisation are not possible without stability of rupee, as the dollar has been appreciating against the rupee for the last more than 11 months because of the higher current account deficit and burgeoning import bills.
He said that with a fresh drop of about half a percentage point, the rupee has depreciated by 4.86 percent in the current fiscal year to date and 8.49 percent since it hit a 22-month high at Rs152.27 in May 2021.
The development suggests the theory the country’s rupee-dollar exchange-rate moves up or down in accordance with the situation on demand and supply of the foreign currency has become ineffective, he said and added that it seemed that authorities have let the rupee depreciating to discourage rising imports and encourage exports in an attempt to narrow down the widening trade deficit which poses a serious threat for the domestic economy.