The rupee Tuesday made a historic dip of Rs4.00 in a single day and surpassed Rs204 against the US dollar for the first time ever in the inter-bank market. It was available for sale at Rs204 at around 1:40pm in the market on Tuesday, after closing at Rs200.06 against the greenback on Monday, according to the central bank. This was the third consecutive workday free-fall of the rupee. The Pakistani currency has faced renewed pressure after foreign currency inflows from overseas Pakistanis through their Roshan Digital Account (RDA) dived to a 15-month low at $189 million in May 2022. Data compiled by Ismail Iqbal Securities from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reports suggests that overseas Pakistanis’ investment into Naya Pakistan saving certificates through RDA plunged to a 21-month low at $13 million in May. The inflows through RDAs – which stood at a strong $290 million in March which was the last month of the PTI government – continued to drop for the second consecutive month in May. Former prime minister Imran Khan, in collaboration with the central bank, introduced RDA for overseas Pakistani in September 2020 in an effort to stabilize the country’s foreign exchange reserves. Non-resident Pakistanis have so far deposited over $4 billion through RDA in the past 21-months, says a news report. However, the reserves have depleted by over $7 billion in the past six-month to criticality low levels of six-week import cover at $9.72 billion at present. Pakistan is expected to resume the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $6 billion loan programme in June after the incumbent government presents the annual budget for the next fiscal year. The budget presentation is scheduled for June 10 in the Nationality Assembly. The prolonged delay in the revival of the IMF programme has continued to mount pressure on the rupee. The programme has been stagnant for the past year. Talking to a news channel, Arif Habib Limited Head of Research Tahir Abbas said the currency was under pressure due to the pending oil payments and rising oil prices in the international market. “The plunge came on the back of a mammoth import bill and widened the current account deficit,” the analyst said. Abbas added that the market is keeping a close eye on the developments regarding the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, which is expected to be revived after the announcement of the budget as the government is taking all possible steps to meet the conditions laid forth by the Fund. The recent bearish spell began after the government hiked the price of petroleum products by a major Rs60 per litre as a result of removing subsidies – one of the main demands of the money lender. Traders believe caution can be expected this week ahead of the unveiling of the federal budget for the fiscal year 2022-23 scheduled to be announced on June 10 (Friday), with investors expecting IMF conditions of fiscal consolidation to dominate. Renewed pressure on the rupee on an increase in fiscal-year-end dollar demand from importers and the corporate sector will keep the local currency under pressure. Since the beginning of this fiscal year (July 1, 2021) to date, the rupee has collectively dropped by a massive 30.65% (or Rs48.29) compared to the previous fiscal year’s close at Rs157.54. The rupee has maintained a downward trend for the last 13 months. It has lost 33.20% (or Rs50.56) to date, compared to the record high of Rs152.27 recorded in May 2021.