PESHAWAR: Traders involved in doing business with Afghanistan face severe difficulties like the rest of the country as dollars are not available in the open market due to uncertainties pertaining to the increase in their value.
Businessmen with ties to the Afghan trade stated that because of the instability of the US dollar rate in Pakistan for the past several months, traders have suffered the loss of millions of rupees. After the recent increase in the price, its price hiked by 10 to 15 rupees in the open market of Peshawar compared to Karachi, Lahore and other cities. Due to this traders could not get dollars for trade with Afghanistan.
It has been reported that ever since the political situation worsened in Afghanistan, the traders are adamant on trading in dollars as opposed to Pakistani Rupees or Afghani Afghans.
Officials of the Federal Investigation Agency said that strict arrangements have been taken to stop dollars smuggling to Afghanistan. But due to this increased illicit demand for dollars, money-changing businesses in Peshawar have gradually shut down and a black market has emerged in the province. However, the rise in value of US dollars has forced people to buy it from that very market at high prices. As a result there is no end to the rupee’s continuous downward slide.
A senior vice president of the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce (SCCI) Shahid Hussain stated that traders have stopped placing orders because of increase in dollar rate. He said there is also a big difference in the rate of dollar in inter-bank and open market. He said that it has led to decrease trade volume with Afghanistan but also with other countries. According to Hussain, traders in KP were already facing difficulties and in current situation, they’ll face more problems until the the State Bank and the government provide them relief.
An Afghan businessman Wali Rahman said that the local traders are the worst victims of the current financial situation of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Rehman said that traders have lost millions of rupees in each shipment during the last three months.