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Dollar free fall continues against rupee for third consecutive session

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  • Pakistan rupee gains further ground in interbank market.
  • Local unit gains after successive losses last week.
  • Increase comes following Ishaq Dar’s return to Pakistan.

The Pakistani rupee gained further ground as the US dollar continued its declining trend for the third consecutive session on Tuesday.

The dollar lost Rs3.11 against the rupee on Tuesday and closed at Rs233.91 in the interbank market at the end of trade session, after the local unit suffered consecutive losses during several sessions in the last trading week.

The dollar has so far shed Rs5.15 in the interbank market, only two days into the trade week.

The local currency on Friday — the last trading day of the outgoing week — finally broke its losing streak against the dollar after continuously depreciating for 15 consecutive sessions.

The rupee came close to reaching a record low of 240 against the dollar but was unable to do so after several positive cues despite deadly floods devastating Pakistan’s economy.

Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP) General Secretary Zafar Paracha had said it seems the market is responding to PML-N leader Ishaq Dar’s arrival and the announcement of him replacing Miftah Ismail as the finance minister.

Dar has returned to Pakistan after five years of self-imposed exile in London to “facilitate” the government in its efforts to resurrect a cash-strapped economy by taking over the key portfolio of the finance ministry.

Apart from Dar’s announcement, Paracha noted that the market players were noting political stability as well — after PTI Chairman Imran Khan stated he could return to parliament if the alleged cipher — purportedly containing threatening text behind his government’s ouster — is probed.

The ECAP general secretary also said that the announcement from the World Bank about repurposing funds, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) plans to help Pakistan, and the Asian Development Bank’s help have boosted hopes of the market.

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An increase in tax was made on restaurant card payments.

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After 15 years, the SRB reduced the service tax that 58 hotels and restaurants in Karachi could have charged on debit and credit card purchases to 15%. This action is a part of the Sindh budget, which was designed to make eating out less expensive for customers.

Prior to this, Sindh’s tax on credit and debit card purchases was lowered from 15% to 8%.

Officials from the SRB have further stated that the service was made available for input adjustment of restaurant tax payments. With this step, businesses will be able to efficiently handle their tax responsibilities and the tax process would be made simpler.

Only a few eateries have been given authority to remove the lower tax rate, even though this tax facility has been reversed.

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The KSE-100 Index rises following a sharp decline in the previous session.

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The government is considering filing a treason case under Article 6 against PTI founder Imran Khan, former president Arif Alvi, and former deputy speaker Qasim Suri. On Tuesday, the KSE-100 Index was up more than 1.3% during early trading, following a day of roughly a 2 percent loss due to growing political unrest and the potential banning of the party.

However, the benchmark index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange was trading at 79,074.63 by 11:49 a.m., having gained 535.45 points, or 0.68 percent, after reaching an intraday high of 79,578.04.

Market analysts said that political tensions were the primary cause of the KSE-100’s earlier Monday decline of 1578.71 points, or 1.97 percent.

They did point out, though, that a correction was a reasonable reaction to the protracted upswing that allowed the benchmark mark index to reach 81,839.86 on July 18.

As a result of interest rate cuts and the possibility of another IMF program, the Pakistan Stock Exchange has gained 22.97 percent so far this year. The cycle began on June 10 with a 1.5 percent decrease in borrowing costs.

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In interbank trade, the US dollar crushes the Pakistani rupee.

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During interbank trade on Tuesday, the US dollar’s value increased by 15 paisas, reaching Rs 278.45.

It is important to remember that Fitch Business Monitor International expressed concern about the possibility that Pakistan’s economic stability may be jeopardized by the ongoing political unrest.

The fragile situation of Pakistan’s economic recovery was emphasized by Fitch in its most recent Pakistan Country Risk Report, which also noted that economic activity has been impeded by urban protests.

(PTI),In spite of multiple successful judicial appeals, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is expected to stay behind bars, the article notes, underscoring the fragile political environment.

With no urgent plans for new elections, this scenario suggests that the coalition administration will remain in office for the next 18 months.

Fitch also described an eventuality in which the government could change and be replaced by a technocratic administration. This suggests that the government of Pakistan would carry out the reforms demanded by the IMF, contributing to the 3.2% GDP growth expected in 2024–2025.

The policy rate has stabilized above projections, while the research predicted it may reach 16 percent this fiscal year and 14 percent the following year.

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