The PKR continued to lose its value for the fifth consecutive session on Friday, falling by Rs1.25 against the dollar in the interbank market.

The local currency closed at Rs220.66 per dollar, having depreciated 0.57 per cent.

Forex Association of Pakistan (FAP) Chairperson Malik Bostan said the dollar’s value had risen because of pending oil payments and demand for the greenback by commercial importers.

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board would approve the loan tranche for Pakistan next week, after which the pressure on the rupee would ease, he said.

Bostan urged the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to increase surveillance of commercial banks, adding that trade with Afghanistan should be conducted in PKR to control the demand for dollars.

Meanwhile, Alpha Beta Core CEO Khurram Schehzad said the difference between the dollar’s rates in the interbank and open markets had risen to more than 4pc for the first time. “The State Bank should take notice of this,” he stressed.

He said other factors that led to the rupee’s fall were the government’s lifting of the ban on the import of non-essential and luxury items, and a dip in remittances.

According to a Dawn report, almost all foreign currencies have disappeared from the open market, with citizens struggling to get hold of the dollar even at Rs230.

After reaching a record low of Rs239.94 against the dollar on July 28, the local currency had recovered to Rs213.90 in the interbank by August 16. However, it has since continued to fall, losing Rs5.78 till today’s close.

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