Islamabad, Oct 17: Pakistan is left with only 2.48 billion dollars of net forex reserves according to Finance Ministry. This means the country has reserve barely enough to cater to the needs of one-and-a-half month of imports. According to a senior ministry official, the country is left with overall foreign reserves of 7.3 billion dollars as of Thursday, Oct 16, of which the State Bank of Pakistan possesses $3.98 billion and the commercial banks $3.32 billion.
Out of $3.98 billion, $1.5 billion have been consumed in the wake of forward booking liabilities, leaving the central bank with only $2.48 billion in real terms. The finance ministry official said: "This massive decline in foreign reserves has led to an unprecedented depreciation of Pakistan's currency against the dollar. The dollar on Thursday, Oct 16 traded in the open market at Rs 87 in Peshawar."
"Owing to this single factor, Pakistan's national debt has increased alarmingly by Rs 900 billion," the official added.
According to The News, with no Saudi oil facility worth $6 billion in sight and the postponement of the 'Friends of Pakistan' meeting till November, Pakistan is left with 2.48 billion dollars in real terms despite the recent inflow of 500 million dollars from the Asian Development Bank.
"It is even more shocking to know that in the last two and a half months, commercial banks' deposits have depleted by Rs 161 billion indicating that the people have withdrawn huge amounts from their deposits and purchased dollars, which has triggered massive demand for dollars," the paper quoted the official as saying.
He said that Saudi Arabia was yet to extend the oil facility, which was due in the first week of September. It is pertinent to mention that Saudi Arabia did not participate in the Friends of Pakistan meeting held in Washington.