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The State Bank of Pakistan clarified on Tuesday that it “has not stopped import payments and commercial banks have sufficient $ liquidity to execute these payments,” rejecting reports that SBP reserves have dried up or are not useable.

A tweet posted from the SBP’s official handle said: “SBP has noticed certain rumors implying that SBP Reserves have dried up or are not usable, that SBP has stopped import payments, and that banks have run out of US$.”

“It is clarified that as of 10th June 2022, SBP liquid foreign reserves stood at $8.99 billion,” the statement noted, adding the reserves “do not include gold reserves and are fully usable for all purposes.”

“Indeed, import payments of around US$ 4.7 billion have been executed through the interbank market during the month so far,” the statement added.

The clarification comes amid rumours that the SBP is planning to stop commercial banks from initiating import transactions to stop dollar outflow.

On Tuesday, high demand for the US dollar kept Pakistan’s rupee under pressure, as the local currency registered a decline for the eighth consecutive session, closing at yet another all-time low of 211.48 in the inter-bank market.

Pakistan’s currency has been under pressure for months as uncertainty around the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) bailout programme and falling foreign exchange reserves continue to take a toll.