A foreign currency dealer counts US dollars at a shop in Karachi, Pakistan, May 19, 2022. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Pakistan rupee continued its upward momentum against the dollar in the interbank market for the eighth consecutive session on Tuesday as newly appointed Finance Minister Ishaq Dar vowed to bring the greenback below Rs200.

The rupee was changing hands at Rs225.5 per dollar after gaining 1.79 during the early trade in the interbank market at around 10am.

The greenback has lost Rs13.71 against the local unit since September 2 and due to the massive decline in the value of dollar, the county’s overall debt has been slashed by whooping Rs1700 billion.

‘Actual value of dollar is less than Rs200’

A day earlier, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar accused PTI Chairman Imran Khan of destroying the economy and assured the nation that he would bring the dollar below 200.

“The actual value of the Pakistani rupee is less than 200 against the greenback and it will be brought down, as it is currently undervalued,” he said while talking to Hamid Mir in Capital Talk on Geo News.

Dar said the dollar was strong internationally, but “we will bring it below 200 against our currency soon.” 

He has strongly favoured intervention in the currency markets in three previous stints in the job and is also expected to strengthen the currency which closed at Rs227.29 against the US dollar on Monday.

Dar said Imran Khan’s speeches in his public gatherings reflected his frustration, adding deals and favouritism were part of Khan’s fate. “Imran contested the elections by cracking deals and staged demonstrations by cracking deals,” he said.

“Imran and his entire team are obsessed with me because they fear that we [PMLN] will stabilise the economy once again as we did back in 2013,” he said, reiterating his suggestion that the country needs a charter of the economy.

“The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) is an independent institution and it does not involve in manipulative activities,” he said while replying to a question about the PTI leader Hammad Azhar accusing Dar of manipulating the economic data.

“I know how to do it as I have solutions and have been dealing with them for the last 25 years.” The finance minister said: “Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif himself told me that during the United National General Assembly (UNGA) session, where Miftah was also present, he proposed the IMF officials freeze taxes to which they did not refuse.”

“I believe that the flood-and-inflation-weary people shouldn’t be burdened further,” he said while taking a jibe at his fellow PML-N member for “burdening the masses” with his policies. Dar said rupee’s depreciation caused a surge in inflation adding that the suffering the people were currently passing through could not be forgotten.

He said the speculators cashed in on the rising value of dollar against rupee and made a fortune. The finance minister said the credit for the IMF deal went to the PMLN-led government.

‘Commitments made by Pakistan for loan programme to continue to apply’

On Monday, the resident representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that policy commitments made by Pakistani authorities to resume the support programme continue to apply.

“Policy commitments made by the Pakistani authorities as part of the Seventh and Eighth review under their IMF-support program continue to apply,” said the IMF representative in Islamabad Esther Pérez Ruiz.

She said policy discussions, including how to target support to those affected by the floods while maintaining macroeconomic stability, will commence in the coming weeks after the damage assessment report becomes available, Reuters reported.  

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