The rupee, which has been falling for more than a week, sank by 96 paise versus the dollar in early interbank trade on Friday.
The PKR finished at Rs236.84 per dollar, down 0.41 per cent from the previous day’s close of Rs235.88.
According to the Chairman of the Fores Association of Pakistan (FAP), Malik Bostan, the rupee’s value is dropping due to increased import bills. He urged the government to prohibit the import of non-essential and luxury commodities.
“If the Ministry of Finance does not interfere,” he said, “the PKR might plummet to 250 versus the dollar.” According to Boston, the government should make an early appeal to friendly countries for assistance to relieve pressure on the rupee.
“The open market demand for dollars is increasing every day.” The Umrah season has begun, which has increased demand for foreign dollars,” he noted.
The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported a day earlier that Pakistan’s oil and food imports increased 11.4 per cent in the first two months of the current fiscal year to $5.08 billion, up from $4.56 billion the previous year.
The oil import cost jumped by more than 7% to $3.30 billion in July-August, up from $3.08 billion in the same months the previous year.
The food import bill increased by more than 21% in the two months under consideration, from $1.47 billion in the previous year to $1.78 billion in the current period.
Meanwhile, Shabbir Mansha of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) bemoaned that both exporters and importers were struggling since the rupee’s value was declining by the day.
“Under the current conditions, importers are unsure what rate to register their consignment at, while exporters are unsure if they will be able to furnish their consignment at the agreed rate.”
“The finance minister must outline a clear rupee policy.” Otherwise, inflation would surge overnight, as it did in Sri Lanka, and the trade imbalance will balloon.”
Mansha stated that importers were being requested to get State Bank clearance for opening letters of credit, a procedure that takes 25 days, affecting the timely delivery of food goods and leading to price increases.
Since September 2, the rupee’s value has been dropping. The PKR’s value has dropped by 28.7 per cent in the previous 52 weeks, according to financial data and analytics portal Mettis Global. On July 28, it hit a record low of 239.94.