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Rupee plunges to record low of 301 against US dollar

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  • Rupee trades at Rs314 against dollar in open market. 
  • The local currency loses Rs0.78 on Friday. 
  • It closed at 300.22 against greenback yesterday. 

KARACHI: The Pakistani rupee ended the week on a negative note at a record closing low of 301 against the US dollar in the interbank market, data from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) showed. 

The local currency is at an all-time low following an easing in import restrictions that has increased the greenback’s demand and rising risks associated with financing the country’s current account deficit.

According to the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP), the local unit is trading at Rs314 in the open market taking the difference between the interbank and kerb rates to Rs13. 

According to data issued by the central bank, the local unit lost Rs0.78 or 0.26%, down from yesterday’s (Thursday) close of 300.22. 

The rupee has lost Rs12.51 in the interbank market since the formation of the caretaker government which is tasked with overseeing at least one review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) $3 billion standby arrangement; and steering the country through to a national election that is in theory due to take place by November. 

Economic expert and former adviser to finance minister Dr Khaqan Najeeb told Geo.tv that pressure from the release of already parked containers and dropping exports and remittances are causing a dollar liquidity crunch in the economy.

The interbank market, he said, is also trying to catch up with the kerb market as Pakistan has agreed to a structural benchmark with the International Monetary Fund of keeping the two markets with a difference which can not be more the 1.25% on the average in five days.

“The open markets are also supply constrained but the demand stays high because the part of imports that are not fulfilled by the interbank market are also taken care of at the kerb market and because of the dollarisation because many people tend to feel that dollar is a storer value and best to hold.”

The expert also pointed out that the monetary policy has fallen behind in creating an impact on people wanting to hold the rupee as well.

He added that inflows have to increase at the interbank level which is the best way to ensure that the Pakistan rupee tends to stabilise

“Also the certainty on the economic plan and the future planned inflows will also help as the next tranche may not be due in the coming months,” he said.

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April FDI in Pakistan increased to $358.8 million, according to SBP

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The inflow for April was $358.8 million, up 177% from $132 million in April FY23. Still, that was 39% more than the $258 million from March.

China was the largest investor, with $439.3 million in FDI from the nation between July and April of FY24—the greatest amount—as opposed to $604 million during the same period of FY23. In April, China accounted for $177 million of the total investment.

With $51.93 and 51.89 million invested in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Canada came in second and third, respectively.

The power industry was the main draw for foreign investors in FY24, which ran from July to April. This period’s FDI in the power industry was $637.5 million, compared to $776.2 million the previous year. From $338 million to $460 million this year, Hydel Power garnered more attention.

Continue reading: In FY23–24, Pakistan’s per capita income increased to $1680.

According to a separate data released on Wednesday, Pakistanis’ per capita income increased to $1680 in FY2023–2024.

The size of the national economy grew from $341 billion to $375 billion in the current fiscal year, according to figures made public by PBS.

Throughout this fiscal year, Pakistanis’ yearly per capita income increased by Rs 90,534; the monthly rise was Rs 7,544.

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OGRA forbids the purchase or sale of inferior LPG cylinders.

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The 313 LPG marketing and 19 cylinder-producing companies received notices from the OGRA, which described the act of refilling inferior LPGO cylinders as harmful.

Avoid supplying LPG to unlicensed distributors, the OGRA has cautioned LPG marketing companies. Only approved distributors will be able to sell and buy LPG going forward, per the notification, which states that new SOPs have been developed for the LPG industry.

Additionally, the warning said that the decision was made in an effort to preserve both lives and the business in response to an increase in cylinder blast occurrences.

Price reductions of Rs 20 per kilogramme for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) were implemented in Quetta on May 3.

There is a reduction of Rs 20 on LPG prices, which means that the price per kilogramme drops from Rs 280 to Rs 260.

The costs of LPG were reduced by Rs 20 per kilogramme earlier, bringing the total decrease to Rs 40 per kilogramme over a few weeks. This is something worth noticing.

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PIA announces a significant student discount.

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According to an airline spokesman, the national flag carrier has recently raised the baggage allowance to 60 kg.

Currently, PIA flies one flight per week on Sundays between Islamabad and Beijing.

The discount may be useful to students who intend to spend their summer vacations in Pakistan or who wish to return home after earning their degrees.

Before, students who wanted to visit China could now receive a 27% reduction on their fares through PIA.

On Eid ul Fitr, the national flag airline also reduced the cost of domestic flights by 20% for both economy and executive economy classes.

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