The value of US dollar reached an all-time high against the rupee again on Thursday, soaring to Rs176.65 in the interbank market during intraday trading.
According to the Forex Association of Pakistan (FAP), the dollar appreciated by Rs1.35 against the rupee at around 2:15pm to reach a new high in the interbank market against the backdrop of a steep rise in Pakistan’s trade deficit.
In the open market, the greenback’s selling rate was recorded at Rs177.50 and buying rate at Rs177 at around 3:40pm.
Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan General Secretary Zafar Paracha attributed the record decline in the rupee’s value to the delay in the arrival of funds from Saudi Arabia as part of a recently revived support package and the country’s rising import bill.
FAP President Malik Bostan also held the rising import bill and and widening trade deficit responsible for the dollar’s rise.
Speaking to Dawn.com, he said the import bill had increased to $33 billion, fuelling a persistent increase in the country’s trade deficit. Moreover, he added, remittances were also declining.
“This is increasing the pressure on the rupee,” he explained.
On the delay in the arrival of fund worth $3 billion from Saudi Arabia under a support package, he said it was another factor contributing to the rupee’s decline.
“Because of this, the demand for the dollar is rising while the currency’s supply has reduced, leading to the rupee’s decline,” he said, adding that if the funds from Saudi Arabia arrived within the next six days, the value of the greenback may slightly decline.
Saudi Arabia had agreed to revive its financial support to Pakistan, including about $3bn in safe deposits and provision of $1.2bn to $1.5bn worth of oil supplies on deferred payments, in October.
The final hurdle in this regard was cleared on November 27 when Prime Minister Imran Khan and his cabinet had approved a pair of summaries for the payment of funds.
On November 23, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said that all legal issues in the transfer of the $3bn deposit had been cleared and Pakistan would receive the amount that week.