KARACHI: The US dollar gained some lost ground against the rupee in the open market on Friday mainly on account of shortage of foreign currencies.

Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP) reported the dollar price at Rs300 compared to Rs299 a day before, but the greenbacks were not available in most of the currency shops.

Some forex companies were selling smaller amounts of dollars in the range of Rs300 to Rs303. The quoted rate of ECAP was not applicable in the market.

The currency dealers said the trading further slowed due to no inflows in the open market. The grey market which has developed its range attracts dollars at a higher cost and offers significantly more money than the exchange companies.

Overseas Pakistanis are getting benefits out of these illegal transactions which is reflected in the declining remittances. Remittances dropped by 13 per cent in the first 10 months of FY23.

Currency dealers said they sell what they buy from a customer. No other source of inflow is available and the general public is exchanging a small amount of their foreign currencies with rupees.

“Some of my colleagues buy dollars against their salaries to save their income from melting,” said Ashar Hussain, an employee of a multinational company. He said each month increasing inflation has drastically cut their salaries. The inflation reached an unprecedented 38pc in May.

Ashar says buying foreign currency is the best way to protect your savings from getting devalued.

The State Bank of Pakistan reported that the US dollar appreciated by 30 paise to settle at Rs285.68.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2023

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