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Dollar flight: plane with 245 suitcases full of dollars took off

The scarcity of dollars in Pakistan is causing a schism in the foreign-exchange market, with banks giving rates that differ from the interbank market.

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The scarcity of dollars in Pakistan is causing a schism in the foreign-exchange market, with banks giving rates that differ from the interbank market. State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is discouraging interbank trading owing to a serious scarcity of dollars. The currency has hit a string of all-time lows and is down more than 30pc this year.

Read more: Dollar continues its flight towards PKR250

A renowned journalist named Shaheen Sehbai shared information on Twitter regarding the shortage of dollars and said that within days after Shahbaz Sharif took office as PM, a plane with 245 Suitcases full of $$ took off from Karachi to Dubai. A Customs Intel officer who reported the matter was immediately sacked. He added, “we know who flies $$ 2 UAE. Will neutrals probe it?” He shared the source of this news as “credible insiders.”

However, a Twitter handle claimed that this information cannot be true.

Firstly, massive purchase of US dollars can greatly move the currency market, but the movement was not that fast at that time.

Secondly, in case they were declared then they must exist in SBP’s record. Otherwise, whether they are there or not, they have no bearing on Pakistan.

The central bank’s foreign exchange reserves dropped by $754 million or 8.1 percent to $8.575 billion in the week ended July 22, as the country struggles to control a long-simmering debt crisis, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) data showed on Thursday.

Read more: SBP takes measures to restrict dollar outflow

However, the central bank is working to maintain foreign reserves. According to persons familiar with the situation, it has requested commercial lenders to manage import-payment requests from their own inflows, such as exporter accruals and remittances. According to the country’s finance minister, the rupee’s depreciation will end soon.