KARACHI: Shipping companies and airlines having offices or operating their ships or planes in Pakistan can now open and operate profit and loss sharing (PLS) rupee accounts, said the revised Foreign Exchange Manual of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) partially issued on Monday.

The SBP has decided to delegate more powers to the banks for facilitation of the stakeholders aiming to promote ease of doing business by simplifying the existing instructions, removing the redundancies through revision of the foreign exchange manual related to commercial remittances.

The central bank has invited views for the revision of rules and regulations related to commercial remittances. However, it has already revised half of the manual.

“The agents of foreign shipping companies and airlines may retain freight or passage collections in PLS accounts held in their own names,” said the SBP.

Considering the market dynamics and keeping pace with changing business environment, the SBP is in the process of revising the manual in consultation with relevant stakeholders in a phased manner. In this regard, 11 chapters (out of 22) of the Foreign Exchange Manual have already been revised.

“Cargo Consolidators or Forwarders who registered with regulating authorities may accept freight in rupees without the prior approval of the State Bank only in respect of Pakistani exports cargo on freight,” said the SBP.

The freight and passage collected in Pakistan can be remitted abroad after adjustment of amount spent for local disbursements and taxes payable. Remittance of passage collections or use thereof for local disbursement is permissible only after the relative journeys have actually been undertaken, said the SBP.

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2021

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