LCs not being opened to date despite SBP’s clear instructions to banks: Tariq Yousuf

Karachi, January 05, 2023 (PPI-OT): President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Mohammed Tariq Yousuf has said
that after a lot of persuasion, the State Bank issued a circular on December 27, 2022 wherein SBP removed the condition to seek prior approval before initiating any import transaction under Chapter 84 and 85 but it seems that the directives to banks were somewhat different because no ease in imports has surfaced so far as the LCs, to date, were not being opened by banks including the LCs of essential items such as raw materials, food stuff, fruits, vegetables, pulses, medicines and other household products etc.

In a statement issued, President KCCI stressed that the importers of essential items whether commercial or industrial should be treated at par because industrial importers cannot import everything by themselves as there were many things which are to be purchased from the market as the inventory or the consumption does not allow them to import everything on their own. “Therefore, the import by commercial importers of raw materials for the industries, particularly the export-oriented industries, is critical so it should not be stopped at any cost.”

He stressed that the banks denial to issue LCs should be taken as a very urgent matter and strict directives have to be immediately issued with a view to improve the situation. President KCCI further stated that another major problem was that a large number of containers were lying at the port awaiting clearance which has exorbitantly raised demurrage charges to such an extent that in many cases demurrages have exceeded the value of the goods in the container. Moreover, these containers were the property of shipping lines that need to be returned at the earliest but the delays in clearing these containers was tarnishing the image of Pakistan.

Hence, he demanded from the government to issue directives for immediate release of all the detained containers without demurrage charges because the detention of the containers at the ports for a longer period was purely due to government’s decision so it was the government which should look into it otherwise many parties will go bankrupt if proper decision was not taken at the earliest. “We recommend that the issue of detained container must also be given special attention and resolved immediately.”

For more information, contact:
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040
Email: info@kcci.com.pk, secretary@kcci.com.pk
Website: www.kcci.com.pk