Pakistan launches crackdown against dollar hoarding amid rupee depreciation

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ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed announced on Monday that a crackdown has been launched to curb illegal hoarding of dollars as authorities have arrested more than 80 people for allegedly hoarding the greenback.

The action comes after the US dollar reached Rs170.96 against the Pakistani rupee last week. The continuous depreciation of the local currency prompted the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to announce steps to curb the outflow of the foreign currency. It has announced new rules, limiting the dollars people travelling to Afghanistan can carry with them.

The central bank also directed the exchange companies to conduct biometric verification for all foreign currency sale transactions equivalent to $500 and above and outward remittances, effective from October 22.

Today, the dollar closed at Rs170.74.

The interior minister said that the government has decided to audit major exchange companies that deal in dollars.

He said that financial activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which were receiving foreign funds, would also be scrutinized to see if they were involved in any illegal activity.

Ahmed said that the government aimed at streamlining the NGO and it did not want to hinder their activities.

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