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LAHORE: President Friends of Economics & Business Reforms (FEBR) Kashif Anwar stressed his hope that the nominated Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will be able to control the situation and dollar price against Pak rupee will be settled well under Rs.200.

In a statement, President FEBR said that Ishaq Dar has the vast experience and is well aware of the ongoing economic challenges being faced by the country; therefore, we expect he shall attend to this issue of rupee devaluation against the dollar as his first priority.

He said that huge rupee devaluation gave a big blow to the economy and badly affected the manufacturing sector as raw material prices and the cost of doing business increased. It has also caused high inflation and halted growth by hitting all the important sectors of the economy. He said that dollar price hike also led to an increase in import costs, a hike in POL prices, etc.

President FEBR said that the government and the State Bank of Pakistan need to ascertain the factors weakening the value of the rupee and check the possibilities of undue speculations and panic buying. This will help stabilize the rupee and restore the confidence of the business community.

He said that an unchecked increase in the dollar rates would multiply the cost of doing business and badly affect the industrial, manufacturing and agriculture sectors as Pakistan has to import fertilizers, food items, oil, machinery and industrial raw material. He said that the government should take immediate measures to arrest further devaluation of the rupee to avoid more damage to the economy, even if it be the fixation of the dollar price by putting an end to free-floating.

He said that although the weaker rupee benefits the exporters by giving them more rupees per dollar, yet this benefit is neutralized by the costly imported inputs of the manufacturing sector including textiles thus eroding the financial advantage of a weaker rupee.

Kashif Anwar said that if the greenback continues its upward flight, it will certainly inflate the import bill.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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