ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Khan Friday urged the nation not to panic due to rupee depreciation.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of Chinese automobile JW Forland manufacturing plant here, he said the rupee depreciation and increase in dollar value was temporary and the positive economic policies will ease burden on people.

Earlier in the day, the rupee weakened 3.8 per cent and closed at an all-time low of Rs139 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market.

In early hours of the day, the rupee hit an intra-day record low of Rs144 to the greenback in line with the International Monetary Fund conditions.

After the unprecedented high in the dollar rate, the State Bank of Pakistan intervened and contacted to the commercial banks that resulted in a decline in the dollar price.

The dollar price shot up by as much as Rs8 in the interbank market during trading after which its value was recorded at Rs142. The dollar was fluctuating between Rs140 and Rs142 in open market. It was the second surge that showed a rise in dollar to burden debts by Rs760 billion.

The Prime Minister said foreign investors will be provided all out facilities to do business in Pakistan, transfer technology and create job opportunities. Khan said foreign investment not only creates jobs in the country but also brings the valuable foreign exchange.

The Prime Minister said the country needs dollars to pay external debts and to manage its balance of payments.

An International Monetary Fund team visited Pakistan amid the economic crises this month and held talks with the Pakistani officials - negotiating the programme, likely to cover a period of three years.

The talks remained inconclusive and there will be another round in the coming weeks. Finance Minister Asad Umar said the IMF package will only be accepted if it did not hit the poor Pakistanis.

The Institute of International Finance in its latest report said a potential IMF programme for Pakistan could be valued at $15 billion. The IIF expected an agreement on a three-year IMF programme of $15 billion by end of this year. Finance Minister Asad Umar, originally said the IMF would be asked for a $12 billion package while another $5 billion would be sought from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

But with the Saudi support worth billions of dollars, the IMF loan may be reduced. Pakistan is also seeking financial packages from China, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates to reduce the IMF dependency.

Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf formed the federal government in August, pledging to bring a ‘change’ in its election campaign. There had been massive criticism against the government after Imran Khan and Asad Umar announced to borrow money from the international financial institutions to improve the country’s economy. Opposition parties refer to the PTI’s promises in the election campaign that borrowing money was against the integrity of the nation.

PM Khan said the government had focused on encouraging investment, increasing exports, incentivizing overseas Pakistanis for sending remittances, and checking money laundering.

The Prime Minister congratulated Afridi brothers on their joint venture with the Chinese automobile company. He said the investment was worth $900 million. “It will be car manufacturing unit in Pakistan for the first time,” he added. Initially, he said, they will employ 5000 Pakistanis in their plant which will eventually increase to 45,000.

Imran Khan said these kinds of projects also bring transfer of technology which has added advantages.

Speaking on the occasion, Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing said China will always be a partner of Pakistan. He said the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China proved very successful.


Don’t panic over rupee

depreciation, PM tells nation