KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday set an April 30 deadline for exporters to bring back their delayed proceeds or face deductions.

The central bank issued a circular directing banks to withhold a certain amount of export proceeds as liens in case the exporters failed to meet the deadline.

“In view of the representation received from various stakeholders, it has been decided that exporters who can bring their delayed export proceeds to Pakistan by April 30 will not face any deductions and their export proceeds will be converted into PKR and released to them in a normal fashion,” said the SBP.

Despite the serious need for the dollars as the country was facing a default-like situation, the exporters kept waiting for further devaluation of the local currency to get maximum benefits.

Only when the rupee hit an all-time low at 284 following uncapping of the exchange rate early this year, the exporters started bringing back their dollar holdings.

The circular further said that the amounts withheld by the banks in pursuance of the above-mentioned instructions will also be released to the exporters. It has also been decided to further amend the instructions and accordingly paragraph 33A, Chapter 12 of FE Manual has been revised.

According to revised amendments, if the export proceeds are delayed for up to 30 days, 3pc will be marked as lien; in case of 31 to 60 days delay 6pc will be marked as lien and beyond 60 days 9pc will be marked as lien.

A consolidated statement regarding all such liens by the bank will be submitted by the Principal Offices of the banks to the Director Foreign Exchange Operations Department (FEOD), SBP-BSC every week.

The SBP said the new instructions will be applicable with immediate effect.

According to the SBP circular, the FEOD will file a complaint to the Foreign Exchange Adjudication Department (FEAD), SBP-BSC for the delay in realisation of export proceeds for all reported cases.

“Subsequently, the bank shall deposit the fine with the SBP (out of the amount marked under lien) and release the remaining amount to the exporter. In case FEAD does not impose any fine on the exporter, the entire amount under lien would be released to the exporter,” said the SBP.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2023

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