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Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) dropped a massive $592 million to a mere $3.09 billion, data released on Thursday showed. This is the lowest level of central bank reserves since February 2014.

Total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at $8.74 billion. Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks stood at $5.65 billion.

“During the week ended on January 27, 2023, SBP’s reserves decreased by $592 million to $3,086.2 million due to external debt repayments,” the SBP said in a statement.

Last week, foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP dropped a massive $923 million to a mere $3.7 billion.

The current level of reserves is at less than one month of import cover.

The central bank reserves, which stood at nearly $18 billion at the start of the 2022 but have undergone significant depletion, underscore the urgent need for Pakistan to complete the next review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

An IMF delegation is currently in Islamabad to hold talks for the ninth review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Talks on the ninth review have remained stalled since September last year over prior conditions of the Washington-based lender that has called for a market-determined exchange rate, resolution of issues within the power sector, and a roadmap for achieving tax targets.

Although the country is facing a serious crisis of foreign exchange reserves, it is meeting international financial obligations to avoid default.

Pakistan has also moved to curb dollar outflow through restrictions on imports. Many businesses have either scaled back or shut down operations after their inability to open letters of credit (LC) amid the foreign currency shortage.

At the same time, policymakers are scrambling to secure inflow of dollars without much success.

A low level of reserves has put pressure on the rupee that closed at a record low of 271.36 against the US dollar after a decrease of 0.93% on Thursday.

Comments

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Rogen Feb 02, 2023 09:09pm
That’s what happens when one person assumes charge of COAS, Chief Economist, Chief Dictator, Chief Selector, Chief Beggar, Chief Journalist-Killer, he runs country to the ground, thank you Pak Army, ap ke defence ke plot sada abad rahen bhale hi mulk doob jaye bas apki hawas zinda rahe. Aap hamesha humain kashmir ke khuab dikha kar afghanio se darte raho, aur ek ke bad ek mulk ko new governments main ghanchakkar bana ke rakho, ameen.
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Khan Feb 02, 2023 09:20pm
Shame on you beggers now asking zakah. Cut establishment budgets and self. Cut free electricity amenties all estan n govt workers. Why dont u tell the truth where budget goes for many years.
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Arun1 Feb 02, 2023 10:01pm
Pakistan cannot afford to feed its current 230m , never mind adding 25m an Australia every five years ! A strict one child policy must be enforced for the next thirty years to stabilise the population
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G. Bal Feb 02, 2023 10:03pm
The beginning of the end. There is no option but to go for restructuring of all debt, local and foreign.
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G. Bal Feb 02, 2023 10:07pm
Asking charities to beg for money takes the cream. Mr. Dar, how about you giving a hefty contribution as an example from the millions you have stashed abroad. First do what you are asking others to do.
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bonce richard Feb 02, 2023 11:19pm
@Rogen, COAS is the chief beggar of the country every time they go to Saudia Arabia for zakat and Fitra. Why do they not curtail their expenses during service? If you Indian army how they live after retirement they entirely depend on pensions and no other income. This is called patriotism. We only buy property in foreign countries in the name of religion.
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bonce richard Feb 02, 2023 11:21pm
@Khan, All proceeds go to the army because they are very sincere for the country. Bengali separated from us because of this type of stupid people in the country.
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Obhaimaromujhemaro Feb 02, 2023 11:37pm
Graph dekho 2022 ka shuru say reserve kesa neechay aya Ye hay niazi kuttay ka karnana daikho na zara ghor se 3 saal haram zaday ne itna qarzay lye aur industry tabah ki Aur phir akhri k 6 month is k reserves down hona shuru hogayay thay, to isko hakoomat say thuday maar k utara Ab jo masla h log is govt ko support ni kr re...logo ki ankhay bhu bund krdi h niazi dajjali kafir nai
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KhanRa Feb 03, 2023 12:57am
Ishaq Dar, and the mindless elites have driven this country into bankruptcy. They have proved that india was right and we cannot survive. We might as well drop all claims to Kashmir since we can’t even take care of what we already control.
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Ubaid Ur Rehman Feb 03, 2023 10:49am
Above Graph shows 15 Billion $ Reserves depleted Just in 12 Months Where we have spent such Big amount, any clues?
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Hussain Feb 03, 2023 11:46am
AoA to all the readers of Business Recorder pls suggest how to generate US dollars. Regards
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Hussain Feb 03, 2023 12:08pm
AoA: Gop should study Uae foreign exchange policy plus Dubai free port facilities. We can use our gwadar port.......... Regards
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Hussain Feb 03, 2023 12:21pm
AoA: Defense POF & etc to increase their exports. Gop can take advise from defense experts. Regards
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samreen khan Feb 04, 2023 01:15am
Me see and I see ID card send money
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bonce richard Feb 04, 2023 03:23am
@G. Bal, Punjabi Dar is the NO1 beggar in our country only this all family members are corrupted. Their character is worse than prostitution. Our army also belongs to the same shit community.
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Nadeem zaman Feb 04, 2023 11:05am
You thick people USA going to Default are they spending less on Army noooo almost $900 billion borrowed yes the problem is corruption in Pk that needs to be sorted but Army we can’t even fat without them as the give us our life and go look at Ukraine Iraq Afghanistan Syria ETC they are like scum on earth finshed why Faulty ARMY look at 2019 February pakistan strikes India in broad day light and eliminates the entire Indian faulty Army in less then 30 minutes so wake up and smell the coffee!!!!! One last thing for you clever folk 167 countries have defaulted we won’t be the first or the last and things will carry on just like uk Greece Russia & the rest that defaulted in the past it’s all about the big missile that fits up a tight backside that gets the message across the world!!!!!!!
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Nauman Feb 04, 2023 01:25pm
Still controllable.Required following actions. Shut down senate ,central assembly . Draw off all facilities from members and govt employees . Swith off street lights. Close bazars at sunset . No more new appoiitment Open gas to industry . Give some incentive to overseas Pakistani.
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Saeed Feb 04, 2023 09:59pm
Pak Army should take a positive role at this stage. Pakistan is near to default position but out Ministers specially foreign Minister Bilawal Zardari spending Million dollars on foreign tours and visits. Pak Army should take over to run Country's affairs. Ministers should go to back to their homes. They are no more able to run the Country.
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