US dollar may settle at Rs250, believes Sindh governor

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KARACHI: Sindh Governor Kamran Khan Tessori on Saturday said that the US dollar was expected to continue its downward streak and settle at Rs250-255 against the Pakistani rupee in the coming days, due to the effective measures taken by the incumbent government.

A day earlier, Pakistani Rupee witnessed the 14th consecutive recovery session as it gained Rs 1.01 against the US dollar in the interbank trading and closed at Rs291.76 against the previous day’s closing of Rs292.77. However, according to the Forex Association of Pakistan, the buying and selling rates of the dollar in the open market stood at Rs 292.1 and Rs 295, respectively.

The Pakistani rupee massively recovered against the US dollar since the government launched a crackdown against currency smugglers, hoarders and black marketers.

Addressing a joint press conference, flanked by Caretaker Commerce Minister Gohar Ejaz, the Sindh governor said that the government was taking effective measures to address significant issues.

He made the remarks following a meeting with a delegation of Karachi’s business community.

He maintained that the government was taking steps to provide cheap electricity and uninterrupted gas supply to industries and domestic consumers.

The governor said that they have also discussed the illegal Afghan refugees’ issue.

“Addressing the traders’ problems is the top priority of the government.” He said that ministers will hold meetings with the traders on a monthly basis to address their issues.

On the other hand, the caretaker commerce minister hoped that the petrol prices will fall on October 1 due to the appreciation of the rupee.

Amid back-breaking inflation, the caretaker government on September jacked up the petrol price by more than Rs26 and diesel price by over Rs17 per litre in its fortnightly review.

Ejaz blamed dollar’s flight for the recent spike in inflation, adding that the greenback’s value continued to decline due to effective steps taken by the government.

“Reduction in dollar’s value will have an impact on the current inflation.”

Dollar’s value slashed in interbank and open market, he said, adding that it will provide relief to the masses.

Earlier today, interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi hinted at the reduction in petroleum prices in the next fortnight’s review — scheduled for September 30.

Speaking to the media at the Karachi Press Club, the information minister responded to the news report saying that the rupee gained Rs30 to Rs35 against the greenback due to administrative measures taken by the interim government in the last few days.

He was referring to the military-backed crackdown launched by the authorities against hoarders, currency smugglers and black marketeers after the rupee fell to a historic low of Rs308 in interbank and beyond Rs330 in the open market earlier this month.

The crackdown has helped the rupee gain significantly, recovering to 291.76 per dollar in the interbank market, its highest level since Sept 5.

The currency has gained 5% or Rs15 since then, supported by dollar inflows from exporters and remittances, as well as measures by the central bank to encourage legal channels for foreign exchange transactions.

“There are enough chances that the oil prices will be reduced in the next [fuel prices] announcement,” the minister said adding that the interim government has no role in fuel prices as they are linked with international oil rates.

“[…] people will get some benefit of reduction in the value of the dollar,” he remarked.

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