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‘Time to stop this madness now’: Politicians, analysts react to record rupee depreciation

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The rupee declined to a record new low on Tuesday, trading against the US dollar at 222 in the open market at mid-day trade.

The quick depreciation of the local currency within a matter of a few hours drew sharp criticism from politicians and analysts expressed concern over the economic fate of the country.

Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan said that when he was ousted via a vote of no confidence, the dollar stood at Rs178.

“Today it is Rs224 and in free fall despite IMF agreement,” he said.

“The economic meltdown shows Sharifs never had any expertise in running economy or administration. Their only expertise is looting, money laundering and getting NROs,” Khan alleged.

‘Time to stop this madness’

“It’s time to stop this madness now,” exclaimed PTI leader and former finance minister Asad Umar in a video message posted by the party’s official handle.

Umar said that Pakistan will fall so deep into an economic mess that it will become extremely difficult to pull it out if such a free fall of the rupee continues.

“For God’s sake this unnatural system made by a foreign hand must be brought to an end,” he urged, in reference to PTI’s claim that former prime minister Imran Khan’s removal through a vote of no-confidence was a “regime change conspiracy” due to what was his “independent foreign policy”.

Earlier, tweeting with his own handle, Umar remarked that “political uncertainty is bleeding the economy and inflicting tremendous pain on the people”.

“Time to stop this badly conceived, badly executed, totally gone wrong experiment. Pakistan cannot be made to suffer anymore for poor decisions,” he wrote.

‘Rupee sunk by 10 units ever since deal with IMF’

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, in a press conference, noted that the local currency has sunk by Rs10 “ever since an agreement was reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF)”.

‘Killing inflation’

Journalist Mohammad Malick termed the development “untenable” and foresaw “killing inflation” ahead if the State Bank of Pakistan does not intervene and “restore sanity”.

“We need a full time SBP governor and [Minister for Finance] Miftah Ismail to refocus on this issue,” he said, adding: “Free fall of rupee guarantees economic disaster and free fall of government too.”

‘Rs10 lost in two days’

Economic journalist Shahbaz Rana drew attention to the fact that the rupee had lost Rs10 in value in just two days.

He called upon the finance minister to “no more sit idle” and let the rupee sink like this.

“SBP is without a governor for the last 75 days,” he lamented, calling it the “height of government indecisiveness”.

He warned that if the dollar’s ascent is not controlled, petrol and electricity prices will increase to “unimaginable levels”.

Rupee falls against dollar and pound

Former banker and political economist Yousuf Nazar noted at noon that the rupee has fallen to an all time low of Rs219 against the dollar and that it has also registered a decline against the pound, dropping to Rs264.

‘Are we waiting for Maryam Nawaz?’

Journalist Shahzad Iqbal in vexation wrote whether the government is waiting for Maryam Nawaz to tweet “Miftah please look into it”.

He said the country has seen no respite despite the IMF and Pakistan striking a staff level agreement and the assurance of disbursements rising to $4bn.

“Government seems to be clueless and has not appointed an SBP governor in the last three months,” Iqbal said.

100-dollar bill stashed away for grand kids

On a lighter note, Alpha Beta Core CEO Khurram Schezad tweeted a photo of a 100-dollar bill that he has preserved to give to his grand kids if he is alive by then.

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Moody’s says the IMF programme will increase Pakistan’s foreign financing.

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Moody’s, a reputable international rating agency, has stated that Pakistan’s chances of acquiring funding will increase as a result of the recent agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which offers dependable sources for that purpose from both friendly countries and international financial institutions.

According to a recent Moody’s analysis on Pakistan’s economy, social unrest and tensions could result from Pakistan’s ongoing inflation. The country’s economic reforms may be hampered by increased taxes and potential changes to the energy tariff, it continued.

Moody’s, on the other hand, agrees that the coalition government headed by Shehbaz Sharif of the PML-N is in danger of failing to secure an election mandate, which may potentially undermine the successful and long-lasting execution of economic reforms.

The government’s capacity to proceed with economic changes may be hampered by societal unrest and poor governance, according to Moody’s.

In order to appease the IMF by fulfilling a prerequisite for authorising a rescue package, the government raised the basic tariff on electricity, which coincided with the most recent increase in fuel prices announced on Monday. This report was released by Moody’s.

Food costs have increased in the nation, where the vast majority is experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the high cost of living, following the government’s earlier presentation of a budget that included a large increase in income tax for the salaried classes and the implementation of GST on commodities like milk.

The most recent comments were made following Islamabad’s achievement of a staff-level agreement for a $7 billion contract that spans 37 months and is contingent upon final approval by the IMF Executive Board.

It states that Pakistan will need foreign financing totaling about $21 billion in 2024–2025 and $23 billion in 2025–2026, meaning that the country’s present $9.4 billion in reserves won’t be sufficient to cover its needs.

Therefore, according to Moody’s, Pakistan is in an alarming position with regard to its external debt, and the next three to five years will be extremely difficult for the formulation and implementation of policies.

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Base Of bilateral relations: China And Pakistan Reiterate Their Support For CPEC

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China-Pakistan economic corridor is a major project of the Belt and Road Initiative, and both countries have reiterated their commitment to it. It remains a fundamental aspect of their bilateral relations.

Vice Chairman Zhao Chenxin of the National Development and Reform Commission of China and Minister Ahsan Iqbal of Planning and Development met in Beijing, where Ahsan Iqbal made this assurance.

The summit made clear how committed China and Pakistan are to advancing their strategic cooperative partnership in all weather conditions.

The focus of the discussion was on how the CPEC was going, with both parties reviewing project development and discussing how the agreement made at the leadership level will lead to the launch of an enhanced version of the CPEC.

In order to improve trade, connectivity, and socioeconomic growth in the area, they emphasised the need of CPEC projects.

The Ml-I Project, the KKH realignment, and the Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway—the last remaining segment of the Karachi-Peshawar motorway network—were all to be expedited.

Expanding the partnership’s horizons to include technology, innovation, education, connectivity, and renewable energy sources was another topic of discussion.

Specifically in the special economic zones being built under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (CPEX), Vice Chairman NDRC emphasised the possibility of China investing more in Pakistan.

In addition to expressing confidence in the ongoing success of the two nations’ collaboration, Zhao Chenxin reiterated China’s support for Pakistan’s development aspirations.

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Pakistani government raises petrol prices

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A recent announcement states that the price of petrol has increased by Rs 9.99 per litre, to Rs 275.60 per litre.

The cost of high-speed diesel has also increased significantly, rising by Rs 6.18 a litre. Diesel is now priced at Rs 283.63 a litre.

Furthermore, kerosene now costs Rs 0.83 more per gallon.

The cost of products and services is predicted to rise in response to the increase in petroleum prices, further taxing household budgets and jeopardizing the stability of the economy.

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