KARACHI: PTI Senator Shaukat Tarin on Wednesday said the ongoing wave of inflation and rupee depreciation showed the public had lost faith in the government, which warrants early elections in the country, the PTI ready to extend cooperation for the formation of an interim setup.
Addressing a press conference in Karachi, the former finance minister said: “This inflation and the depreciation of the rupee make it clear the market and the public has lost its trust in you. Your credibility has finished and there is only one solution: announce general elections and bring a credible interim government.
“We, too, will cooperate with an interim government.”
Tarin said the country needed to be taken out of the economic and political “mess” it was in.
The former finance minister criticised how the rupee’s continuous depreciation against the dollar was being managed, decrying that it had been completely abandoned to open-market operations, instead of a regulated rate being maintained by the State Bank.
He said the central bank needed to intervene and devise a mechanism to regulate the exchange rate to some extent, adding that the PTI was also ready to help out and offer advice in this regard.
Tarin also attributed the market’s falling confidence and the rupee’s depreciation to the Punjab by-elections, saying that the business community was predicting a change of government, which would add to further political uncertainty.
Earlier today, the rupee continued its fall in the interbank market, with the local currency closing at a historic low of Rs225 against the dollar as Ismail said political turmoil was to blame for the downturn.
“The panic in the market is primarily due to political turmoil, which will subside in a few days,” Ismail told Reuters, adding that he expected pressure on the rupee to fall in the next few days.
Analysts attributed the decline to the lack of economic guidance amid the political uncertainty prevailing in the country and the State Bank not intervening.
According to the central bank, the rupee closed at Rs224.92 against the dollar, down Rs2.93 or 1.3 per cent, from yesterday’s close of Rs221.99.
Mettis Global Director Saad bin Naseer said the freefall in the rupee’s value was continuing because the markets were without economic guidance amid the evolving political situation.