Ishaq Dar claims credit for rupee’s rise against dollar

ISLAMABAD: Former finance minister Ishaq Dar on Monday heaped praises on himself for own policies for the strengthening local currency and credited himself for the Pakistani rupee’s appreciation over time against the US dollar, saying the state’s intervention in the forex market was crucial to keep the currency stable.

“I consider the rupee’s depreciation the mother of economic evils. The appreciation of the rupee against the dollar today is due to the ‘Ishaq-Dar’ policy,” the Leader of the House in the Senate told the Upper House of parliament after the caretaker government clamped down on elements involved in dollar smuggling and speculators.

But the International Monetary (IMF) has stressed, in a statement after Pakistan and the lender reached a staff-level agreement on the first review under a short-term deal for $700 million, that the rupee must remain market-determined to sustainably alleviate external pressures and rebuild reserves.

The rupee is expected to trade in a narrow range against the US dollar this week, as importers and exporters weigh the impact of mixed economic signals on the country’s currency. It closed at 285.64 in the interbank market today.

“The real exchange rate today is 244 to the dollar. Some of our institutions have way too much autonomy, but let me tell you,’ spoiled children deserve the rod’.”

Dar, who has served as the finance czar twice under Nawaz Sharif and once under Shehbaz Sharif’s regime, said: “A major reason behind our economy’s destruction is the fall in the rupee’s rate against the dollar.”

The senator reminded his colleagues that in 2014 and four years following that, until his removal as the finance minister, the rupee had remained stable. “The central bank’s intervention was only to a certain extent.”

He claimed that during the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) tenure, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) intervened more often to control the rupee’s value when compared to the stints of the Pakistan Muslim Legaue-Nawaz (PML-N).

“I am considered an enemy of rupee devaluation by a financial institution. However, after giving in to the demand of the same financial institution, the PTI allowed the devaluation of the rupee. See, what happened after that,” he said, claiming it ballooned Pakistan’s loans.

The PML-N senator said there needs to be a consensus among all stakeholders to regulate the rupee’s value. “People die, but their policies have led to an increase in the prices of commodities.”

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