LAHORE - Devaluation of rupee against dollar has almost halted economic growth in the country, badly hitting all the important areas of economy from agriculture to industry; manufacturing to import of goods; IT sector to students studying abroad for higher education, stakeholders said on Sunday. The depreciation of rupee against dollar said to be almost 45 per cent during the last four months, has already bogged down the business class, which seems quite perturbed about future prospects. All hopes are pinned on the government to unveil some bailout package to stabilise the economy. The officials said that the government is unable to decrease the fuel and fertilizer prices due to the record devaluation of the currency against dollar despite the prices of fuel, fertilizers and some food items had decreased in the international market. The depreciation of the currency is also multiplying the cost of doing business and badly affecting the industrial, manufacturing and agriculture sectors as Pakistan has to import fertilizers, food items and industrial raw material. The economic pundits said that the import bill of the country would swell to a considerable extent as what they said the crisis-hit Pakistan was importing a number of necessity goods including food items apart from luxury items at present. "Only the pharmaceutical industry is importing about 90 per cent of the raw material and this alarming depreciation is sharply increasing the input cost," said Shahzeb Akram, Vice-Chairman Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front (PIAF). He further said that the prices of all medicines would shoot up in the country in the days to come as the pharmaceutical industry is importing raw material, the price of which has surged due to devaluation of currency. Waqas Ahmed an auto-dealer said that the prices of autos, spare-parts and other imported material related to this industry has also surged in the local market due to devaluation of the currency. Ex-Chairman Pakistan Steel Industry Association Malik Tariq Mahmood said that the owners of steel factories have been badly affected due to increase in steel prices, which is deplorable. Increase in dollar rate means devaluation of rupee, which is unbearable, he said and urged the government to make the economy stand on its feet. He further said that the steel prices had also increased due to depreciation of rupee therefore concrete steps should be taken to stabilize the economy. Ramzan Rafique, an agriculturist said that the rising fuel and fertilizer prices also increased the agricultural input. Now the prices of DAP fertilizer has dropped in the international market but its prices would not decrease in the local market due to depreciation of rupee. The government, already facing severe liquidity crunch, would have to give Rs 27 billion subsidy on DAP fertilizer to increase wheat production in Pakistan to overcome food shortage. Khalid Raheel a local businessman said that the depreciation of rupee is also affecting the students studying abroad for higher education. " Six months earlier, I have to pay approximately Rs 62,000 or $1000 as education fee of one semester for my daughter who is a university student in California. Now I had to pay about Rs 85,000 for one semester due to the depreciation of the rupee," he maintained. He also said that the education cost and visa fee for the students who wanted to get education abroad has also surged by 50 per cent due to depreciation of rupee against dollar. "The parents will not be able to send their children abroad for higher education if the fall of rupee continued," he added.  The country is already facing severe financial crunch due to increasing trade and budget deficit, balance of payments and global food inflation. Inflation is above 24 per cent in the country while the food inflation is touching record high above 32 per cent. On Friday last, dollar crossed Rs 84 level for selling in the interbank, touching above Rs 86 price level in the open market. The record devaluation of rupee against dollar caused panic in the business community followed by rumours of country's bankruptcy. The country's economy is still in the grip of fears and crisis though the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced Rs 270 billion rescue plan. It is worth mentioning here that the measures taken by the State Bank of Pakistan in the recent past, in which the SBP had tightened the monetary policy and increased the interest rate proved a futile exercise, as it did not help stable the rupee against dollar.