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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Stocks lose over 1,100 points as dollar rises to Rs204

The Pakistani rupee again surpasses the 203 mark by losing 65 paise in the interbank trade during the intra-day trade on Monday.

The benchmark KSE-100 index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) plunged by 1,134.80 points on Monday, while the US dollar rose to a historic high of Rs204 against the local currency in the interbank market.

According to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) website, the index lost 1,016.79 points at 3 pm and continued to slide in the last hour of trading to close 1,134.80 points or 2.7pc, down.

Dawn reported that analysts attributed the bearish trend to the PMLN-led coalition government’s increasing taxes on the banking sector in the new budget for the fiscal year 2022-23.

Read more: Rupee hits all-time low at Rs203.45 against USD

At a post-budget news briefing on Saturday, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail built a case for more challenging decisions, hinting at reducing or withdrawing relief on personal income tax provided in the next year’s budget. He said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was not ready to give up the demand for higher revenue yield.

“In next year’s budget, the government has increased windfall gain tax for banks from 39 pc to 42pc, earning secure profits because of huge investments in government securities.”

Last week, the shares market had closed on a slightly positive note following the rising crude oil prices and the likely resumption of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme.

Commenting on market performance after the coalition government presented the budget, former planning minister and senior PTI leader Asad Umar took a jibe at the government.

Read more: Budget figures may change to appease IMF

“What a wonderful budget…the public is angry. [There is] negative momentum in the stock market, further depreciation of the rupee, [and] imported finance minister [Miftah Ismail] [is] claiming IMF is unhappy,” he wrote.

Umar, who also served as a finance minister for a short period, also mocked the finance minister Ismail, saying who else is happy with the budget other than the companies that produce candies.