The president of Pakistan’s Forex Association, Malik Muhammad Bostan, asserted on Monday that the government was losing dollars as a result of smuggling and its trading with Afghanistan.
Chairman Exchange Companies Association Malik Bustan says that it is estimated that 2 billion dollars are going to Afghanistan per month, Afghan businessmen are paying up to 30 rupees more than the open market to buy dollars from Pakistani rupees.
Addressing a conference with the chairman, general secretary, and other ECAP members at the Karachi Press Club, Malik Bustan appealed to the political parties, saying that the enemies of Pakistan were targeting its ideology, its army, its officers, and its politicians.
Two billion dollars to Afghanistan Every Month
Malik Bustan said that the country’s biggest problem, after politics and the economy, is the availability of dollars, which is the reason for Afghanistan’s need for dollars. It is estimated that two billion dollars go to Afghanistan every month.
“We are losing close to $2 billion to Afghanistan on a monthly basis. The government must ban trading in dollars with the neighbor. “It should be done in local currency or barter trade,” said Bostan, while addressing a media briefing at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Monday.
“Illegal, Black” market for dollars
The country, reeling from an economic crisis worsened by devastating floods, has recently seen the emergence of an “illegal, black” market for dollars in recent weeks, with stability in interbank market rates failing to convince traders of the rupee’s value at around 225. Market talk suggests the dollar is being traded at more than 250 in the black market.
“Pakistan imports coal from Afghanistan, but the payments are being made in dollars,” he claimed.
In June, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had approved the import of high-quality coal from Afghanistan in rupees instead of dollars to save the country’s foreign exchange.
“Afghanistan exporters aren’t accepting rupees.” Around $1 billion is the export value, while a similar amount is being smuggled out of Pakistan as 15,000 people travel to Afghanistan on a daily basis.
According to Bostan, each traveler carrying approximately just over $2,000 a day (on average) is causing Pakistan to lose around $1 billion a month. Meanwhile, Bostan said Pakistan’s domestic market is full of buyers with not nearly enough foreign currency to meet demand.