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Senate panel asks FIA to probe rupee devaluation

Updated December 09, 2018

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Rehman Malik wonders if some particular group is the beneficiary of such a drop in the price of rupee. — APP/File
Rehman Malik wonders if some particular group is the beneficiary of such a drop in the price of rupee. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel has tasked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) with investigating the abrupt and continuing devaluation of the rupee, directing it to submit a detailed report by Dec 22.

Taking notice of the sharp decline in the value of the rupee against the dollar to an unprecedented low, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior Rehman Malik has written a letter to the FIA, asking it to probe all stakeholders, including the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and money-changers, under the Foreign Exchange Act.

Senator Malik has said that it is very alarming that neither the prime minister nor the finance minister was aware and informed of the sudden devaluation of the country’s currency. He has asked what factors and elements are behind this historic fall of the rupee and said, “It is necessary to investigate if an artificial cap on the value of the dollar was created by any mafia to sell their preserved dollars at high rates.”

Rehman Malik wonders if some particular group is the beneficiary

The former interior minister has said that in the past it happened that some currency dealers collected and preserved dollars in bulk to create its artificial shortage in open markets.

He said that after creation of artificial shortage of dollars in the open market, the State Bank has to buy dollars at high rates and this way the specific section in the market gets benefits of it.

The committee chairman has directed the “FIA to investigate who are getting benefits of this created situation and unearth those elements which are responsible for this crash”.

In the letter to FIA, it is also asked “what is the procedure for maintaining… secrecy while fixing the currency’s price by (the) State Bank of Pakistan and who fix(es) the price and who is the final signing authority?”.

Senator Malik has urged the government to inform the people about the agreements it has signed with the International Monetary Fund for retiring the loan and asked has this fall of rupee something to do with the IMF.

He has asked the FIA to investigate and enlist all parameters already notified to fix the value of rupee against dollar and what the actual procedure for fixing parity of rupee with dollar is.

He has said that there has been lot of controversies how the price of rupee was allowed to fall freely which would not only affect the life of common man but would also ruin the national economy in the long run.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2018

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