KARACHI: The Pakistani rupee surpassed all records on Wednesday, selling at above Rs190 against the dollar in the interbank market during intraday trading, to continue down a slide in the wake of the deepening economic crisis in the country.
With a fresh decline of Rs1.36 (or 0.72%), the local currency closed at Rs190.02 in the interbank market, down Rs1.36 from Tuesday’s close of Rs188.66.
The rupee has continued a non-stop downward streak for the fourth successive working day as investors worried about the economic situation and economy, adding pressure on the central bank to rescue the falling currency.
The current decline was attributed to uncertainty concerning the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, coupled with an absence of direction from the government on major economic policies and a roadmap.
Speaking to Geo.tv, Arif Habib Limited Head of Research Tahir Abbas said the rupee was down for two major reasons. “First, due to uncertainty regarding the revival of the IMF loan programme. Second, depleting foreign exchange reserves,” he said.
The analyst further added that lack of direction and clarity regarding the government’s economic strategy, delay in decision making on IMF’s pre-requisites — which include removal of subsidies and increase in petrol, and electricity prices — rising commodity prices in the international market dampened the sentiment of the market.
Abbas said: “Because of the uncertainty regarding the IMF programme, other friendly countries have also said loans are contingent on fulfilment of IMF conditions which is also taking a toll on the already depreciating currency”.
“The government needs to lay out a clear economic roadmap,” he asserted.