Dollar hits Rs302 in open market

KARACHI (INP): The US dollar hit 302 against the rupee in the open market, going beyond the boundaries marked by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to keep the difference in open and interbank exchange rates in the range of 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent, says media reports.
“The US dollar rates kept fluctuating during the day and reached as high as Rs302,” said Zafar Paracha, general secretary of the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan. On Friday, the dollar traded at Rs296 in the open market.
Mr Paracha said the dollar rate was higher than the prices being quoted in the media. Some currency dealers said the dollar’s appreciation was not mainly because of the currency’s shortage but due to uncertainty surrounding the caretaker government.
“The perception about the interim government in the currency market is that it will be independent of any political pressure, which means it will strictly follow the IMF instructions to implement the exchange rate,” Mr Paracha said.
Under the $3 billion Standby Arrangement signed with the IMF in late June, the previous coalition government agreed to maintain a single currency rate in both interbank and open markets, with a slight difference of up to 1.5pc increase in the open market’s value. It was also quoted in the media that the IMF wanted 20pc devaluation of the rupee in the current fiscal year, which means the dollar should be in the range of Rs330-340 by the end of June next year. Currency dealers believe that despite the higher foreign exchange reserves of the State Bank, the dollar is on the rise due to this arrangement with the IMF.