Pakistan’s currency fell to a record low of Rs.255 against the US dollar on Thursday, according to local media reports. The recession came after cash-strapped governments loosened exchange rate controls to secure much-needed loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Pakistan’s currency exchange company said Wednesday it would lift restrictions on the dollar and rupee exchange rate and gradually depreciate the local currency on the open market.

The Pakistani rupee had fallen Rs.24 and was trading at Rs.255 against the US dollar at 1pm, according to the Express Tribune.

The IMF asked the Pakistani government to end its control and let market forces set the exchange rate, a term that was readily accepted. Pakistan is seeking approval from international bodies to secure the currently stalled $6.5 billion in funding.

Pakistan won an IMF bailout last year, but the release of funds has stalled this year.

Pakistan’s low foreign exchange reserves have led to massive food inflation. In some parts of the country, packs of flour are sold for INR 3,000. Videos of people fighting over food and chasing food trucks have gone viral on social media.

The country has also plunged into darkness owing to frequent blackouts.

“We haven’t been able to do anything. Everybody is sitting idle. We can’t operate any machines,” says Zafar Ali, who runs a workshop.

Pakistan’s central bank this week also raised interest rates to a 24-year high to fight surging prices.

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