QUETTA: President of the Balochistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Fida Hussain Dashti on Friday urged the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to allow trade with Afghanistan in cash until a proper banking system is made functional on both sides of the border.

He said in a statement that if this facility was not extended to the business community, they would not only face bankruptcy but thousands of people would also become jobless.

Mr Dashti said that the economic development of any country, province or region depended on good and stable trade relations with its neighbours and other countries.

He said promotion of legal trade was top priority of the BCCI and it wanted to strengthen relations with Iran and Afghanistan. However, he said that the conditions set by the SBP for trade with neighbouring countries, especially with Afghanistan, were creating hurdles in smooth trade and business relations.

“We want that the SBP should allow trade with Afghanistan in cash until the banking channel with Afghanistan is made functional,” Mr Dashti said.

He said the government should seriously consider the demand of Balochistan’s traders, otherwise thousands of people would lose jobs, and the trade deficit of Pakistan would further widen.

Mr Dashti said the SBP should make policies keeping in mind the ground realities and taking all the stakeholders into confidence.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2022

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