Rupee sheds value versus greenback, hits historic low of Rs193


By Commerce Reporter

KARACHI: Domestic unit continued its nosedive against dollar for fifth consecutive working day, as it declined by 0.64 percent (Rs1.23) to a new historical low, reaching Rs 193 against greenback in inter-bank market.

Latest depreciation recorded was followed by central bank’s report that country’s foreign exchange reserves had depleted to a 22-month low, at $ 10.3 billion.

Dwindling reserves have continued to weaken country’s balance of payments, as a result, Pakistan’s ability to import and repay foreign debt has contracted during past several months. $10.3 billion reserve has reduced country’s import cover to less than two-months as compared to usual three-month import cover.

Pakistan is scheduled to begin talks with International Monetary Fund on May 18 in Doha, as country’s options to avoid insolvency have been limited after it could not immediately receive any major financial support from its three friendly countries. Country is anticipating resumption of multi-billion dollar loan programme which has been on hold for past 11 months.

Premier directed finance ministry to once again ask IMF to partially relax its condition of increasing fuel prices. Development comes amid a delay in finalisation of new loan deals with Saudi Arabia, China and United Arab Emirates.