KARACHI: The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) drew the attention of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) leadership on Tuesday to the concerns of multinational companies about the pre-approval procedure for letters of credit (LCs) for the import of machinery and spare parts, timely remittance payments and low approval exemptions for shipping values.

The OICCI leadership met SBP Acting Governor Dr Murtaza Syed, Deputy Governor Dr Inayat Hussain and Deputy Governor Sima Kamil to discuss urgent fiscal and monetary policy measures that should be taken to help stabilise the country’s economy, a press release said.

OICCI President Ghias Khan and OICCI Secretary General Abdul Aleem led the discussion. They urged the SBP leadership to set timelines so that the industrial supply chain remained uncompromised.

The SBP team presented a comprehensive overview of the current economic situation and its strategy to tackle the challenging issues in 2023. The SBP team said Pakistan’s economic problems were temporary and urged the members of the OICCI to work on increasing exports to help balance the exchange rate fluctuations and currency depreciation.

Mr Khan said it was imperative that the SBP implemented cogent measures to halt the accumulation of the circular debt.

The statement quoted the SBP acting governor as saying that the central bank was taking tough measures and making difficult decisions to help avert the economic crisis. “Global inflationary pressures coupled with a pro-cyclical expansionary fiscal policy during a pro-cyclical period is one of the main reasons why Pakistan is at this crossroads today. Once these measures are implemented and the International Monetary Fund’s loan is received, the pressures on the economy will ease, specifically with regard to the depreciating rupee,” he said.

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2022

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