Finance minister terms rupee's sudden plunge 'artificial'


Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar Wednesday took serious notice of the spike in the interbank rates of the United States dollar versus the Pakistani Rupee.

Finance Minister Ishaq has called a meeting to discuss ways and means to curb adjustment in the rupee.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) will see changes as soon as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returns from a two-day visit to Tajikistan, the Dawn quoted Dar as saying.

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Talking to the media on Thursday in Islamabad after chairing meeting of heads of all commercial banks, he said Rs 3 increase in value of dollar was beyond his understandings.

He said that the inquiry would be initiated after the appointment of the governor. Last time, the dollar value had jumped to Rs103 in August 2014 due to the prolong sit-in of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) from Rs98.82 of pre-sit-in situation. He further said that the surge was "surprising" and "artificial", adding that a transparent investigation would be conducted into the matter.

Dar said that no person, including himself, has any authority to artificially adjust the dollar's value.

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The rupee gained against greenback by almost Rs3 and was trading at Rs105.50 to a dollar.

The dollar was being sold for Rs107 in the open market earlier today, said Malik Bostan, president at Forex Association of Pakistan. In May, the year-on-year trade deficit surged 61 per cent to $3.465 billion, according to the latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. The rupee's sudden devaluation on Wednesday was the currency's "biggest drop" in nine years.

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