Dropping below the 168 level, the Pakistani rupee inched near all-time low recorded against the US dollar on August 26, 2020…reports Asian Lite News

Pakistani rupee neared an all-time low after another fall against the US dollar.

As per the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the currency closed at 168.02 against the dollar in the inter-bank market, registering a decline of Rs 0.36 or 0.21 per cent.

Dropping below the 168 level, the Pakistani rupee inched near all-time low recorded against the US dollar on August 26, 2020, reported Business Recorder.

As per Arif Habib Limited, the Pakistani rupee has lost 6.2 per cent since June 2021 and 9.4 per cent against the USD since its recent high recorded on May 14, 2021.

“Rupee’s decline can only be stopped if imports are curtailed, and exports/remittances increase,” Malik Bostan, Chairman Forex Association of Pakistan, told Business Recorder.

Pressure on the rupee has increased due to Pakistan’s current account deficit that has widened in recent months due to the high import bill.

The rise in import bills is attributed to a hike in international oil prices in August, import of commodities, raw materials, and machinery. However, some luxury items also seem to be part of the mix.

Bostan said that the government should take strict measures to curb the import of luxury items, especially autos.

Afghans oppose Pakistani rupee

Afghan businessmen have rejected Pakistan’s demand to conduct bilateral trade in the Pakistani rupee in the future.

A number of people have reacted to a report in a Pakistani newspaper that said business deals in Afghanistan should be based on Pakistani rupees, Pajhwok Afghan News reported.

Daily Jang, a Pakistani newspaper in a report quoted the country’s Finance Minister Shawkat Tareen as saying that Afghanistan faced a shortage of dollar reserves and that would be the reason Afghanistan would make transactions in Pakistani rupees.

The report said that Tareen made the statements after International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank suspended payments to Afghanistan.

After these reports, Afghans launched a social media campaign titled ‘Afghani is our national identity,’ Pajhwok Afghan News said.

Most of the social media activists shared slogans, such as: “We are residents of Afghanistan, Afghani is our national identity and using Afghan currency is our national responsibility”.

Social media user, Abdul Kareem in a tweet said, “I will build my country myself, so I will use the currency of my own country. Every transaction in Afghanistan should be in Afghan currency.”

Many pro-Taliban people too reacted against Pakistan’s demand to conduct bilateral business in the Pakistani rupee.

Hammad Afghan, one of them, in a tweet said, “If you want to enlighten your future and make a rich Afghanistan, you should promote our national currency (Afghani).”

Sheikh Abdul Hamid Hammasi, also a pro-Taliban Afghan, said: “If anyone values national identity and Afghanhood, then they should use Afghan currency for transactions…”

He said that the Taliban should make it clear to all officials and businessmen that they would be punished if they used Pakistani rupees.

A number of other people held similar views and said those using foreign currencies should be punished, the report added.

Meanwhile, the Taliban are yet to react to Pakistan’s proposal. (ANI)

ALSO READ: Beijing, Islamabad Target Hostile Militant Groups in Afghanistan

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