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Rupee continues recovery against dollar on hopes of IMF deal within few days

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The rupee gained further ground against the US dollar as Pakistan was able to secure $500 million from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and the expectation of striking a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The local currency gained by Rs3.46 against the greenback in the interbank market during the intraday trade. The local unit was seen changing hands 275 at around 11:47pm. 

The rupee closed the week on Friday by gaining significant ground against the US dollar. According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), it appreciated by Rs6.63, or 2.38% in the interbank market and closed at 278.46. 

Speaking to Geo.tv, Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP) General Secretary Zafar Paracha citing a few reasons for the earlier dollar appreciation said that the hype was created by the country’s financial institutions and international players that manipulated and caused the rates to increase. 

“Currently, the dollar decreased against the rupee due to the market correction and it is still in the ebb and flow.  Financial credentials cannot be changed in one day which can cause the currency to depreciate or appreciate at such a scale,” said Paracha.

The destabilised currency damages Pakistan’s image and foreign direct investment (FDI) and local investors are discouraged due to this reason, he added.  

He anticipated that keeping in view the IMF agreement and the inflows from the friendly countries, the dollar should remain in the range of 260 to 265. 

Paracha also mentioned that the political condition of Pakistan has been impacting the dollar rates which never had happened before. This time we are on the very weaker side that’s why IMF is also pushing us, he noted. 

He also highlighted that the financial conditions are not bad as it is being indicated. Our inflow is $50 billion and our outflow is $60 billion, he said, adding that Pakistan requires $10 to 15 billion which has been halted. 

“If we had managed it well, reducing our expenditures and the subsidies of $17.4 billion which the government gives to our elites then it would make a huge impact”, he maintained. 

There is a very dire need of increasing our tax base, not the tax rate. No one except the salaried class and big companies pay the tax. Therefore, the government need to increase the tax base, he concluded.

Earlier today, a government official expressed hope of striking a deal with the Washington-based lender. 

Another official assured that Pakistan was expecting to strike the staff-level agreement (SLA) with the IMF in the next few days, however, the Fund was reluctant to give any time frame for finalising the agreement.

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Tourism boom: During Eidul Azha, more than 400,000 people travel to KP

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Over 400,000 people travelled to several beautiful locations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa between June 17 and June 19, celebrating the recently ended Eidul Azha festivities.

With over 174,000 visitors in one day, Naran Kaghan emerged as the most popular location. Visitors looking for a getaway from the city are still drawn to Naran Kaghan’s calm scenery and charming valleys.

A total of 162,000 visitors to Galiyat took in the city’s rich history at its cultural institutions and historical landmarks. In addition, more than 46,000 people visited Malam Jabba in Swat, and 23,000 people visited Upper Dir to take in its stunning surroundings.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is becoming a popular domestic vacation destination due to its unique combination of natural beauty, cultural legacy, and adventure options, as seen by the rise in visitor numbers.

Businesses and local government agencies have been collaborating to make sure tourists have an unforgettable time while appropriately handling the inflow.

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Pakistan currently has $14.41 billion in foreign exchange reserves.

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In a statement, the central bank stated that as of June 14, 2024, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) stood at $9.135 billion, following the increase.

The announcement also stated, “SBP reserves increased by US$ 31 million to US$ 9,134.7 million during the week ended on June 14, 2024.”

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) stated that the nation had $14.415 billion in total liquid foreign reserves. Commercial banks own $5.28 billion of the total in net foreign reserves.

It was announced earlier on June 13 that Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves reached US$14.38 billion, up US$168 million in the first week of June.

Pakistan’s reserves held by commercial banks rose by US$174 million to $5.28 billion for the week that ended on June 7, according to a statement released by the central bank.

The SBP now has US$9.10 billion in reserves, down US$6.2 million from before. The central bank did not provide an explanation for why its reserves fell.

“SBP reserves decreased by US$ 6 million to US$ 9,103.3 million during the week ended on July 7, 2024,” the SBP said in a statement.

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In a first for history, PSX crosses the 77,000 milestone.

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At 77,213.31, the benchmark KSE-100 hit an all-time high, up 1,005.15, or 1.32%, from the previous close of 76,208.16.

The government’s readiness to seal an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the budget was cited by analysts as the reason for the upward trend.

Experts anticipate that in an attempt to bolster its position for a fresh bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the budget for the fiscal year ending in June 2025 would set aggressive fiscal goals.

Budget for Pakistan, 2024–2025
Pakistan’s budget for the fiscal year 2024–25, with a total expenditure of Rs18.877 trillion, was presented on Wednesday by Minister of Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb.

The Finance Minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, outlined the budget highlights. He stated that the GDP growth target for the fiscal year 2024–25 is set at 3.6 percent, while the inflation rate is anticipated to stay at 12 percent.

He stated that while the primary surplus is anticipated to be 1.0 percent of GDP during the review period, the budget deficit to GDP is forecast to be 6.9 percent over the period under review.

According to the minister, tax income collection increased by 38% in the current fiscal year, and the province will receive Rs7,438 billion. The Federal Board of income expects to earn Rs12,970 billion in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year.

In contrast to the federal government’s projected net income of Rs9,119 billion, he stated that the federation’s non-tax revenue projections are set at Rs3,587 billion.

The federal government’s total outlays are projected to be Rs18,877 billion, with interest payments accounting for the remaining Rs9,775 billion.

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