Pakistani rupee drops to record low amid talks with IMF

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s currency plummeted to an all-time record low in intraday trading against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, amid uncertainty about the success of crucial talks between the International Monetary Fund and the government of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif who is considering massive new taxation to avoid a default.

According to the central bank, the rupee slid to 200 against the U.S. dollar, showing a steady decline in the value of this Islamic nation’s currency.

Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said that Pakistan is banning all non-essential imports, including cars and luxury goods to avoid any further depreciation of rupee against the American dollar.

“Pakistan is facing an economic emergency situation, and we are taking correct and tough decisions to overcome this economic crisis,” she told a news conference.

The latest development comes a day after Pakistan opened talks with IMF in Doha to revive the $6 billion bailout package, which has been on hold since ex-premier Imran Khan’s government was ousted in April.

Since then, the rupee has lost value against the U.S. dollar by 13 percent.

According to a government statement, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail is leading its talks with the IMF. It said these talks, which started on Wednesday, will conclude next week.

Pakistan and the IMF originally signed the accord in 2019, but the release of a key installment had been on hold since earlier this year. That’s when the fund expressed reservations about a delay in Pakistan’s compliance with the conditions of the bailout by the former premier Khan’s government.

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