Muscat: The Indian rupee hit 192 against the Omani rial on Tuesday morning, according to exchange houses operating in Oman.

“We are offering a rate of INR192 for a single Omani rial,” confirmed a leading exchange house in Muscat.

“Many companies involved in currency exchange have pegged the rupee at INR192, while others have even gone and said it is about INR193 per Omani rial. Earlier, when the Indian rupee rate was about INR191 per Omani rial, it was the highest it had been in the last six months, but now, with the rate going even higher, it is the highest the exchange rate has ever been,” Zachariah PS, General Manager, Musandam Exchange, said. “In fact, the government tried to hold the falling exchange rate for the rupee on the day before yesterday, but even then, there is only so much they could do,” he added. “They were bound to act sooner or later, because the Indian rupee value was dropping fast. The value of the Bangladeshi taka, for example, is about 225 for an Omani rial, and if the rupee got near there, it would show the Indian economy in a poor light.”

COVID-19’s impact on the global economy was one of the main reasons the currencies of many developing countries – including India – were tumbling. The disease has led to many foreign investors taking their money out of ongoing projects in the country, while other restrictions that have been put in place as well as the temporary shutting down of industries in China – on which some Indian industries as well as many consumers depended for goods.

“A lot of finished products from China that come into India have been stopped, because of ongoing issues with the coronavirus,” explained Zachariah. “The coronavirus has had a lot of impact on the Chinese economy: so many factories have been shut down, many places are on lockdown, so the goods that would normally come from China are not coming any more. This highlights the dependence on imports into the country, and this makes the rupee weaker.

“A lot of projects in India are also currently being financed by China and other overseas investors, and when there is such a large scale issue that impacts the world, and then these investors take out their money because they need to keep their own finances safe, and they do not know what the future will bring,” he added. “The Indian government has tried to stabilise the rupee by selling the US dollars in their currency reserves, but even the exchange rate for that is about INR175 per Omani rial, which reflects low investor confidence in India.”

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