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FIA instructed to launch operation against speculative currency trading

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been directed by the government to launch a full-fledged operation against the hoarding of US dollars and speculative currency trade in the country.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry took to Twitter on Friday and said the State Bank of Pakistan and the Ministry of Finance would coordinate the agency in operation.
Government has directed FIA to launch a full fledged operation against Dollar hoarding, and speculative currency trade the operation is being launched in coordination with State Bank and ministry of Finance
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The announcement came after Finance Minister Asad Umar ruled out a further devaluation of the rupee, which has lost considerable value against the US Dollar in recent time.
The minister also urged people to invest in the stock market instead of ‘wasting money’ to buy dollars.
Talking to newsmen in Islamabad, the minister said that speculation in the local money market had enhanced the dollar-rupee exchange rate which was further worsened by the ‘fake news’ on social media.
Umar quoted SBP as stating that the supply and demand of dollar against the rupee had reached its equilibrium level asserting that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had not demanded to set the exchange rate or to devalue the rupee.
Umar said that a currency should be aligned with its fundamentals adding that the real effective exchange rate (REER) in January 2018 was Rs127 against the US dollar, which was 27 per cent overvalued at the time.
The minister emphasized the need for blocking the speculations for the stabilization of local currency, claiming that recent statements made by his predecessor Ishaq Dar also contributed to the speculations about the value of the dollar.
He asked all such speculators to stop spreading the rumours, warning that the government had the option of taking them to the court and dealing with them legally.
Umar opined that the government had inherited a fragile economy with rising fiscal and current account deficits and declining foreign direct investment.
The lawmaker reminded that before PTI took charge, the value of rupee against the dollar had reached Rs127 from Rs105 in December 2017, witnessing a devaluation of Rs22 at the time.

Asad Umar, however, admitted that there was a rise in inflation but stood his ground that it was still at a lower level as compared with the first eight months of the governments of the PPP and PML-N.

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