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Foreign exchange reserves drop to $2.92bn, decay by $170mn

Foreign exchange reserves drop to $2.92bn
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February 09, 2023 (MLN): The foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) have reached to nine years three-month low, standing at $2.92 billion, fell by $170 million during the week ended on February 03, 2023, according to the data released by the central bank on Thursday.

The outflow of $170mn is attributed to external debt payment.

Since the start of calendar year 2023, the SBP Foreign reserves decreased by $2.6bn.

Moreover, the reserves held by the commercial bank decreased by $32.6mn to $5.62bn, and the total net reserves held by the country fell to $8.54bn.

It is important to note that the current level of foreign currency reserves is sufficient to cover only 0.60 months of import bills.

In these tough times, Pakistan needs immediate finance assistance from IMF and other friendly states, also the country is expecting a positive outcome from PAK-IMF talks.

On Thursday, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar said, "We will give the good news to the nation regarding the IMF deal tonight."

Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Shareef assured the IMF delegation of the complete implementation of the program and progress towards goals.

The government is working hard to reach an agreement with the IMF while minimizing the burden on the common people. To achieve this, the government has already received approval from the Prime Minister on the decisions made during the negotiations with the IMF, Minister of State for Finance, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said.

According to the Minister, the government plans to put a higher burden of electricity tariffs and taxes on the rich rather than on the common people. The government is trying to ensure that the new measures will have a minimum impact on the general population.

The IMF agreement is crucial for Pakistan, and negotiations with the IMF are now entering their final stages. The IMF mission is set to meet with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to clarify a few remaining issues, she informed.

The government's efforts to reach an agreement with the IMF while minimizing the impact on the common people show its commitment to promoting financial stability and ensuring the well-being of its citizens.

On this news, the Pakistani rupee (PKR) has gained 2.8 rupees against the US dollar in the interbank market to settle at PKR 270.51 per USD, compared to the previous close of PKR 273.33 per USD.  

On the stock front, the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) observed a bullish trend as the investors also cheered the news about the settlement with IMF which led the index to gain 743.27 points, up by 1.78% by the session's end. 

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Posted on: 2023-02-09T20:14:23+05:00