ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Commerce on Wednesday showed concern over the non-clearance of letters of credit (LCs) causing the closure of industrial units besides the shortage of edible items in the domestic market.
The committee meeting chaired by its Chairman Senator Zeeshan Khanzada discussed all issues confronting the business community especially textile industrialists and ensuring the import of edible food items from various countries for availability in the market at affordable rates.
The committee was informed that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had directed authorised dealers to seek prior permission from Foreign Exchange Operations Department (FEOD) of the central bank for initiating the import transaction of specific goods through the issuance of a letter/amendment of credit, registration/amendment of the contract, making advance payments and authorizing transactions on open account or collections basis.
The commerce ministry made a list and requested SBP to withdraw the condition for prior permission for certain essential goods. Regular meetings were held in this regard and assurances were given that banks would prioritise import-related transactions of export-oriented sectors.
The committee stressed the need for stringent measures to be taken to ensure that the issue is addressed at the earliest. The issue of dollar smuggling was discussed and the committee recommended that dollar rates in banks be increased to address this menace.
Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2023
Dear visitor, the comments section is undergoing an overhaul and will return soon.