Rupee hits record low at Rs146 against US dollar
KARACHI: Three days after the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh announced to have finalised a three-year bailout with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $6 billion, the rupee went into free fall on Wednesday, hitting a record low of Rs146.25 against the dollar.
The greenback recorded an increase of Rs2.5 against the local currency to reach Rs146.25 in the open market.
Earlier, on May 12, Dr Sheikh had announced the terms and conditions mutually agreed upon between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Government of Pakistan.
Talking in a program of state-run Pakistan Television (PTV), he said that a board consisting of members of the IMF would now authorize the finalization of the agreement.
Pakistan has lost 50 percent of its reserves in the last 2 years; last year the export and import differential was worth $20 billion, added the PM’s advisor.
Sheikh then elaborated on IMF’s role in helping member countries during times of economic turmoil.
“We will be getting $6 billion from the IMF in 3 years, we see great advantages in reaching out to the global financial body,” revealed Sheikh.
Talking about the impending circular debt the country has to contend with, Sheikh said: “If we receive an additional $2-3 billion on a lower interest rate, that could ease up the vice of the circular debt.”
Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said that if subsidies handed out to the elite of the country were halted, the advantages would be reaped by Pakistan and the act will be in the wider national interest.
“If we tax the rich heavily, the country will improve its economic condition, there are a lot of things that have not been focused on by previous governments,” claimed Sheikh.
“Pakistan’s total debt has crept past the $90 billion mark”, he added.