Pressure is mounting on the government to release the containers loaded with industrial raw material and other goods that have been stuck at ports for months and are awaiting clearance.
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), in a letter to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), pressed the central bank to convene an emergency meeting to dig out a solution to the lingering issue.
According to contents of the letter, the FPCCI expressed its anxiety over the stuck containers of raw material at ports. “We have never seen this sort of economic situation ever before,” the letter read.
FPCCI Vice President Shabbir Mansha said “the chamber is facing mounting pressure from different trade and industrial quarters. There is a need for taking immediate and effective steps to sort out the matter.”
Mansha mentioned “we informed the SBP about the unavailability of industrial raw material but no action has been taken yet.”
He demanded that foreign currency exchange companies should be allowed to purchase dollars for financing imports, which would enable importers to purchase the greenback from those exchange companies and get their imported goods released from ports.
Furthermore, all payment timeframes for imports should be extended from 180 days to 365 days. And there should be an open account facility for the imported raw material, the letter proposed.
FPCCI suggested that the condition of a banking financial instrument should not be applicable when importers were sourcing dollars for imports and urged the SBP to take urgent steps to address the challenges.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2023.
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