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Rupee hits all-time low at 288 against US dollar

KARACHI: The Pakistani rupee fell to an all-time low of Rs288 per US dollar in the interbank market on Tuesday, owing to delays in the revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme and the looming high risk of default on foreign debt repayment.

At around 10:23 a.m. today, the rupee fell 1% (or Rs2.86) to Rs287.90 against the US dollar. The rupee had closed the previous day at Rs285.04 per US dollar.

The rupee hit a record low last month, closing at Rs285.09 per US dollar on February 3, 2023.

According to market reports, importers have resumed their panic buying of US dollars, while the supply of foreign currency in the interbank market has remained low.

This situation has arisen as a result of the government’s announcement that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar would visit the United States from April 10 to 16 in order to resume the IMF loan programme worth $6.5 billion.

According to the government, Dar will attend the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington DC, along with other high officials.

Pakistan has been in talks with the Fund since late January to restart the programme, which has been on hold since November 2022.

Foreign financing has been stifled as a result of the delay. As a result, the country’s foreign exchange reserves have been depleted to a critically low level of $4.2 billion.
The government also stated that Saudi Arabia has indicated a new bailout package for Pakistan, but the amount and timing remain unknown.

According to experts, the IMF and friendly countries have ceased aid to Pakistan due to the country’s increased political and economic instability.

According to a leading analyst, the market is seeing increased demand for dollars as a result of import payment pressure. He recalled that, on the recommendation of the IMF, the government had fully reopened imports.

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