RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has voiced serious concerns over the sharp fall in the value of Pakistani rupee against the US dollar. RCCI President Malik Shahid Saleem in a statement said it would open flood gates of inflation in the country and create additional problems for business and industrial activities. “The dollar has risen to an all-time high of Rs158 in open market and it must be controlled, as it could have a devastating impact on all segments of society, particularly the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs),” he added. He said that the fall of rupee in open market from Rs148 per dollar to Rs158 per dollar in just four days should be a cause of great concern for policymakers and monitoring bodies.
He said instead of withdrawing support for the rupee in the daily market, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) should make efforts for a stable currency as currency volatility is disturbing the long-term business planning efforts of the private sector.
Malik Shahid Saleem said falling value of rupee would increase the debt burden on the country as a Rs1 devaluation causes a Rs60 billion jump in the public debt burden. He stressed that government should take urgent measures to end volatility and bring stability in the local currency. RCCI president cautioned that It must be kept in mind that the rising dollar would lead to expensive imports and the exporters will also bear the brunt due to rise in cost of imported raw materials, plunging the economy into further deep crisis.
“We fear that the rupee may fall further in the coming months, keeping in view Pakistan’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves,” he said. Currency devaluation for a country like Pakistan will have negative economic implications on revival of Auto, Pharmaceutical and Information Technology sectors, he opined.