The US dollar has skyrocketed to an unprecedented high against the Pakistani rupee, breaching the Rs. 300 mark in the interbank market, and reaching a staggering Rs. 314 in the open market on Thursday. According to the Forex Association of Pakistan, the dollar’s value hit Rs. 300.4 at 11:15 am, leaving financial experts and the general public grappling with its implications.
Just a day earlier, the dollar had concluded its trading session at Rs. 299.64, but quickly escalated to Rs. 315 in the open market, causing considerable alarm among investors and economists alike. The Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP) presented a slightly different picture, reporting buying and selling rates of Rs. 309 and Rs. 312 respectively.
The persistent surge of the dollar has ignited widespread calls for government intervention to address the thriving black market for currency exchange. While the interbank market faces scarcity in dollar availability, the open market seems to offer the coveted currency at inflated prices.
Malik Bostan, a prominent figure at the helm of the Forex Association of Pakistan, issued a cautionary statement, urging the public against stockpiling dollars in anticipation of further escalation in their value. Bostan expressed his observation that ordinary citizens were rushing to purchase dollars, under the mistaken assumption that their worth would continue to rise indefinitely due to the interbank market surge. He also pointed to the removal of import restrictions as a factor contributing to the rupee’s vulnerability.
Zafar Paracha, a spokesperson from the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan, concurred with Bostan’s viewpoint, attributing the rupee’s decline to a surge in unnecessary imports. Paracha echoed Bostan’s sentiments by imploring citizens to abstain from unnecessary dollar purchasing during this period of heightened uncertainty for the rupee.
As the dollar’s relentless ascent persists, it remains to be seen how the Pakistani government will respond to the growing concerns surrounding the black market and the broader implications for the nation’s economy. The situation underscores the intricate interplay between economic policy, market sentiment, and international dynamics that shape the currency landscape.