May 16, 2019 (MLN): Prime Minister Imran Khan’s words seem to be losing all credibility by the passing hour and his sworn supporters are at a loss of defense at his latest empty rhetoric as PKR suffers substantial depreciation of 4.6 rupees in early trade today, less than 24 hours after he fixed the exchange rates at PKR 143.5/144.
A high level meeting was held yesterday afternoon at Prime Minister House to discuss the rising rate of the dollar in the open market, where it was quoted as high as 146 by some exchange companies.
In the presence of Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, it was decided at this meeting that the dollar would be traded at 143.50 for buying and Rs.144.00 for selling.
Moreover, the Exchange companies were warned not to deviate from the agreed rate.
However, PKR depreciated by 4.6 rupees in early trade at the interbank market today, where the banks quoted the currency at 146/147 per USD as compared to yesterday’s closing quote of PKR 141.39 per USD.
While a depreciation in local currency was expected by the markets anyway, this move translates into a likelihood that the government is suffering from cognitive dissonance. The presence of SBP governor at the high level meeting yesterday entails that the government was aware of this devaluation.
Fixing a lower rate despite this knowledge brings the Prime Minister under radar as a confused leader, who is constantly failing to deliver the promises that won him this position and is making desperate yet futile attempts to regather his fallen reliability.
It may seem to an increasing number of people that the PM has bitten off more than he can chew as this incident (read: accident) adds to an ever expanding list of missteps.
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