ISLAMABAD: Voicing concerns over the recent depreciation of Pakistani rupee, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the recent sharp uptick in dollar value is beyond his comprehension.
Addressing a press conference here, “Previously, I considered it mere speculations hinged on the country’s political circumstances.”
Dar said he had convened a meeting of presidents of the public banks to look into the matter, adding the issue surfaced owing to the poor liaison of among a couple of people.
The issue of ‘How the dollar value enhanced against Pakistani rupee’ will be thoroughly investigated, he announced.
he expressed surprise over the depreciation of the local currency. He said the forex market is stable and there is no reason in appreciation of dollar.
Responding to a question, Ishaq Dar said foreign exchange reserves currently stand at twenty one billion dollars. Of these sixteen billion dollars are with the central bank and the remaining five billion dollars are with the banks.
Earlier, the Finance Minister held a meeting with the presidents of different banks and discussed matters that led to the devaluation of rupee.
It should be mentioned here that the Pakistani rupee weakened 3.10 percent in trading against the dollar on Wednesday in what analysts speculated could be a central bank-led devaluation to shore up the economy.
Earlier commenting on the situation, Dar said in a statement he felt “deep concern and indignation” at what he called an artificial weakening of the currency. He did not say who he thought might be responsible.
The rupee fell to 108.25 against the dollar by Wednesday afternoon, its weakest level in years, after closing at 104.896 on Tuesday.
The steep drop after a long period of stability prompted speculation that the State Bank of Pakistan – which is the biggest player in the market where it operates a de facto managed float – had allowed a devaluation to occur.
A spokesman for the State Bank, Abid Qamar, did not reply to queries on Wednesday.
Pakistani exporters have long complained that the rupee is overvalued, hurting their competitiveness.
Finance Minister Dar, however, “expressed deep concern, indignation and disappointment at the fact that the current political situation is being exploited by certain individuals, banks and entities”.
The statement added that “the responsible persons and entities in this matter will be identified and appropriate action will be taken against them in the national interest”