The country’s liquid foreign exchange reserves continue to seesawing at the $17 billion mark with the latest week again witnessing a decline of $175 million or one percent. Last week that ended on May 28, the country’s dollar reserves had seen an increase of 1.6 percent or $274 million surging to $17.339, compared to $17.065 billion of the preceding week.
The SBP data released Thursday show that during the week ending on June 4 Pakistan’s foreign exchange depleted to $17.164 billion. The week also saw greenback holdings of the central bank tumbling to $13,726 billion, registering a slump of 1.2 percent or $180 million when compared with last week’s $13.906 billion. During the preceding week, the State Bank’s dollar reserves were in the green zone showing an increase of $113 million or 0.8 percent.
The commercial banks marked an upset by reserving $3.437 billion, 0.1 percent or $ five million greater than $3.432 billion of the previous week.
SBP Chief Spokesman Syed Wasimuddin attributes such nominal changes in the banks’ foreign exchange reserves to routine cash withdrawals by the account holders. Given the present healthy inflows to the country driven primarily by exports and home remittances the country’s economic managers expect the foreign exchange reserves ridding Pakistan of its balance of payment woes at least during the ongoing fiscal year.
As the country would be initiating the retirement of half-paid $11.3 billion in loans under the IMF’s 2008 Stand-By Arrangement, the analysts are seeing the situation cautiously and suggest that Islamabad should go take the measures that could lure foreign investment into the terrorism-hit country. Foreign investment is considered to be the sole sustainable remedy to the country’s balance of payment woes.