ISLAMABAD: The Pak rupee could touch the lowest value of 153 against dollar in the medium term due to illegal transfers up to $9 billion to other countries against payments for millions of containers which cleared misusing the customs green channel.
Sources claimed that the rupee will keep plunging till end of August 2018. Some minor reversal adjustments may happen in between in short spans of few days.
Sources further revealed that this trend shows that it has started from 107 and touched 129 mark in a short period of few months and the same technical trend shows it could even touch the lowest mark of 153 vs US dollar in medium term.
Only July 16, the rupee plunged to a record low of Rs129 against the dollar in the inter-bank, due to Rs 1000 billion losses of green channel illegal clearances at Karachi ports which caused burgeoning trade and current account deficit alongside deteriorating foreign currency reserves. Foreign exchange flight continued through illegal channels for smuggling banned goods into the country even after taking of notice by the Chief Justice Saqib Nisar against green channel misuse.
According to latest reports, the rupee closed at 128 against the greenback in the inter-bank market on July 16 while it closed at 121.55 against dollar on July 13. This was the fourth round of devaluation since December 2017 when the currency was hovering around Rs105.5 to the dollar. Cumulatively, the rupee has lost over 21% against the greenback.
Pakistan’s current account deficit ballooned to $16 billion during the first 11 months (July-May) of the just concluded FY18. During FY18, rupee had been devalued three times against the dollar to rein in decline of foreign exchange reserves.
It is worthy to mention here that the Chief Justice recently took notice of the customs green channel illegal clearances and the court associate sent a letter to the Chairman NAB for necessary action. Mobiles, electronics, liquor, cigarettes, betel nuts, explosive chemicals, etc continue to pour into the country through green channel. FBR has also admitted that 10 million containers have been cleared in Green Channel without any examination. In fact, not even scanning of these containers is done by customs.
Sources said this led to foreign reserves shortage as FBR allows our nation to bleed out approximately USD 9 billion in lieu of payments abroad for the contraband or high value goods illegally cleared under the garb of lower valued goods in green channel. Green channel operators used to transfer billions of dollars to other countries through illegal means. Customs collected approximately Rs 610 billion, but it lost Rs 1000 billion due to green channel misuse. The USD 9 billion loss through customs green channel mega scam could be added to country’s reserves if action is taken against corrupt officials of customs & FBR.
Sources said, “Ramifications on the economy would be higher prices mainly of petrol, vehicles and steel items (of which imports make the major component), increase in prices will have an inflationary impact across all sectors and will also limit consumption.”
The nation hopes that the Chief Justice of Pakistan would take urgent action on customs green channel illegal clearances so as to halt the $9 billion bleeding of the foreign exchange and avoid Pak rupee from further plunge.
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