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Afghan jitters send dollar rate shooting to 48-week high

Pakistan's imports have shot up too

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 25, 2021 | Last Updated: 5 months ago
Posted: Aug 25, 2021 | Last Updated: 5 months ago

Artwork: Syed Saad Ali

The rate of the US dollar rate has crossed Rs166 after nearly 11 months. The last time dollar was above Rs166 was on September 30, 2020.    

According to the data released by the Forex Association, the dollar rose by Rs0.70 to reach Rs166.40 on Wednesday.

Zafar Paracha, Executive Director, Paracha Exchange, said that the volatile situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over has made the region unstable. It has raised concerns in Pakistan.    

Also read: Depreciating rupee against dollar didn’t increase exports for Pakistan: study

He added that the demand for dollars in Afghanistan is increasing and a large quantity of dollars are being smuggled to it from Pakistan.

Paracha added that the government of Pakistan was taking steps to curb dollar smuggling but more needs to be done to control this dollar leakage.  

According to Paracha, Pakistan’s exports, remittances and foreign exchange reserves have increased in the last financial year and there is no reason for the rupee to depreciate. And in a month and a half, the dollar will return to Rs160 provided the government has not reached any agreement with the IMF to devalue currency.

He said that the price of oil in the world market has gone up which has also increased the import bill.

According to Malik Bostan, chairperson of the Forex Association of Pakistan, the government will import 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses in the next five months. In addition, Pakistan’s imports increased by 45% in July, which has increased pressure on the dollar.

According to Bostan, if the government re-announces the amnesty scheme, the value of the dollar rate will again drop to as low as Rs155.

An official of the trade department of a private bank confirmed that a large amount of money is being paid for imports these days, which has increased the pressure on the dollar and increased the value of the dollar. The official was not authorized to speak to the media and requested anonymity.

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