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Senate body directs FIA to probe rupee devaluation.

Senate Standing Committee on Interior Chairman Senator Rehman Malik has taken notice of the sudden and continuing decease in the value of rupee to its lowest level in history and asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to investigate the matter and submit its report by December 22.

In a letter issued by the office of the Senate committee, he asked the FIA to investigate all the stakeholders, including the State Bank of Pakistan and currency agents, as per the Foreign Exchange Act. He said the continuous devaluation of the rupee against US dollar was damaging the country's economy. He also ordered the FIA to investigate the role of the Ministry of Finance in this regard.

The senator said it was alarming that neither the ministry nor the prime minister were informed about the sudden devaluation of the currency. He added that it was necessary to investigate if an artificial cap on the value of the dollar was created by any mafia to sell their currency at the highest rate.

He said that in the past some foreign exchange dealers used to collect and withhold dollars in bulk to create artificial shortage of the currency in the open market.

The senator said the State Bank of Pakistan had to buy dollars on high rates for unavoidable circumstances due to the artificial shortage. He added that in this way, the specific section in the market got the benefit.

The senator directed the FIA to investigate those getting the benefit of the situation and reveal the elements responsible for this crash.

The letter also says, 'What was the procedure for maintaining the secrecy while fixing the currency's price by State Bank of Pakistan, who fixes the price and who is the final signing authority?'

He asked that government to inform the people about the agreements it had made with the International Monetary Fund for retiring its loan and whether the devaluation of rupee had something to do with it.

He said there had been a lot of controversies associated with the free fall of the currency that would not only affect the life of a common man but also ruin the economy of the country in the long run.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Dec 9, 2018
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