KARACHI: The rupee crossed the Rs87 mark against the US dollar in the open market on Monday as people started hoarding the foreign currency in the wake of State Bank’s requirement to show personal ID for purchase or sale of greenback.
The recent round of rupee depreciation had been aggravated by black-marketing of the US dollar, which some businessmen were willing to buy even at a higher price, traders said. “For the first time in the past one and a half year, the difference in the exchange rate of the open market and inter-bank market reached Rs2,” said Malik Bostan, an exchange company owner, referring to the surge in demand of the US dollar by undocumented players.
He said people were reluctant to sell the US currency to exchange companies because they did not want to disclose their identity. “Naturally, this has led to a shortfall and rise in the price of dollar.”
The State Bank had recently made it mandatory for everyone who buys or sells the US dollar from exchange companies to surrender copy of National Identity Card. “Those who want to travel need dollars and those who want to go abroad for medical reasons need dollars. The demand is still there but we don’t have enough to satisfy it.”
Monday’s average exchange rate in the inter-bank market for buying and selling dollar was Rs84.89 and Rs85 respectively, according to the State Bank. Bostan said exchange companies would hold a meeting with central bank officials on Tuesday to settle the issue. “We will propose that at least the ID card disclosure requirement should be dropped for those who are coming to sell the foreign currency.” The News