ISLAMABAD   -  Dollar sank rupee further on the third consecutive day on Friday, jacking up Pakistan’s public debt and servicing cost, upsetting long term plans of all businesses and throwing wide the gate of inflation.

The value of dollar against local currency touched all-time high of Rs151 in open market and Rs149.50 in the interbank market yesterday, a few days after Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed on new loan programme.

Authorities, who have promised the IMF to not intervene, watched on as the so-called market forces kept playing their games to the detriment of the millions of poor inhabitants of this land.

The stock market also declined on Friday, with the benchmark KSE-100 index shedding 804.5 points to close at 33,166.6, down 2.4 per cent.

Rupee has been under intense pressure against dollar since Monday, the very next day of the IMF loan agreement – which is yet to secure the final approval by the top bosses of the international lender.

The real grinding started on Wednesday, and then on Thursday rupee lost 3.6 percent of its value against dollar and sold at 146.2 against the US currency in  the interbank market.

On Friday, dollar began increasing almost immediately as trading began. Its value went up further by Rs4 to all-time high of Rs151 in open market. Similarly, it increased by around Rs3 in the interbank market to reach Rs149.5.

Market sources informed The Nation that a large number of exchange companies were unwilling to sell the dollars even at Rs151. They are only interesting in buying more amid speculations that its value will surge further in the coming days.

Independent economists believe that rupee would remain under pressure until inflow of dollars starts.

“Dollar value will increase when there is uncertainty in the market and the government has given assurance to the IMF that it will not intervene,” said an economist, who is part of the government’s Economic Advisory Council.

He said speculators and investors are busy in purchasing dollars with a view that its value would further increase in the months to come. He restrained himself from making any value projections due to the sensitivity of the issue.

The depreciation of Pakistani currency is not new as it has continuously been depreciating since November 2017 when a dollar value was Rs105. However, it was never so drastic and unrelenting in nature over such a short period of time.

The previous government of PML-N had increased the dollar value up to Rs115 in May 2018 when it left the government. Later, the dollar value had enhanced to Rs123 in August 2018 when PTI assumed the charge. Since then, the dollar value is continuously increasing and has crossed the Rs150 mark in open market.

The massive depreciation in currency has failed to enhance the country’s exports during ongoing fiscal year. The country’s exports had come down by 0.12 percent to $19.17 billion in ten months (July to April) of the ongoing fiscal year over the same period last year.

However, the increase in dollar value would fuel the inflation rate, which is already increasing due to the impact of previous devaluation and hike in energy costs. Inflation rate had touched five years highest level of 9.41 percent in March this year.

Senior officials of the ministry of finance and economic experts believed that inflation would go to double digits in next few months due to the impact of increase in petroleum products and devaluation in currency. Similarly, the devaluation in currency would also increase the volume of loans and interest payment.

Immediate impact of fall in the value of rupee would be on the debt stock, inflation and increase in input cost of raw material for export sector and further increase in trade deficit. One rupee depreciation against the dollar adds Rs105 billion to the debt. Additionally, the cost of debt servicing would increase.