By Muhammad Luqman
Mufti Taqi Usmani, Pakistan’s one of most revered Islamic clerics, has urged people not to hoard US Dollars as stashing of the currency could tantamount to disloyalty to the state.
The cleric in his latest statement expressed that hoarding dollars to earn profit and manipulating to increase its value is a grave sin and is a disservice and disloyalty to the country.
Mufti Usmani narrated a Hadith in which those involved in the hoarding are cursed by Allah. The unabated plunge in depreciation of the value of Pakistani Rupee against US Dollar in the financial market is a worrying phenomenon that is exacerbating the economic crisis in the country, according to Geo TV channel.
During the last four business days, the dollar has risen by Rs9.60 against the Pakistani rupee.
With an increase of Rs1.36, the dollar reached an interbank level of Rs151 . In the open market, the rate increased to Rs154.
The rupee has been falling against the dollar following an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a $6 billon loan with expected strict conditions including a “market determined” exchange rate.
The rupee’s official exchange rate is supported by the central bank under a de facto managed float system and many analysts consider the currency to be overvalued.
According to data issued by State Bank on Thursday, the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves as of May 3 stood at $8.984 billion, equivalent to less than three months of import payments.
“Basically, the sudden spike of the dollar against the rupee is due to the impact of the IMF deal plus a shortage of dollars in the market,” said Saad Hashemy, chief economist and director of research at Topline Securities in Karachi.
With inflation running at more than 8 per cent, a weaker currency is likely to add to pressure on household budgets, particularly on power and gas bills, where the government faces growing pressure to allow regulated prices to rise, fear the economists.