January 02, 2020: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in collaboration with State Bank of Pakistan, organized an awareness session about foreign exchange operations and key developments of SBP related to digitalization of work processes and ease of doing business.
Arshad Mehmood Bhatti Director Exchange Policy Department, Muhammad Shakeel Piracha Director Foreign Exchange Operations Department, Muhammad Ammad Ansari Joint Director FEO and other officers of SBP attended the session.
A detailed presentation was given regarding online portal of SBP, automation of systems and streamlining foreign exchange processes for trade, exports, imports, commercial remittances, private remittances and insurance etc.
Speaking at the occasion, Arshad Mehmood Bhatti Director Exchange Policy Department said that SBP had to place restrictions on advance payment in foreign exchange due to rising trade deficit, fast-dwindling forex reserves and many other factors that had created an imbalance in the economy.
However, he said that SBP has allowed advance payment in FX to manufacturing industry up to 50 per cent of LC for import of raw material and spare parts.
He said that with the reduction in imbalances in the economy, the SBP would ease out restrictions on advance payments in FX and has already delegated advance payment up to $10,000 to commercial banks.
He urged the business community to discourage the use of hundi/hawala that was harmful to the economy and use legal channels instead for foreign payments.
Muhammad Shakeel Piracha, Director, Foreign Exchange Operations Department of SBP briefed the participants about online portal and automation of SBP processes.
He said that the business community should complete documentary requirements in foreign exchange cases to avoid delay and informed them about the checklist of documents that were necessary to process such cases.
He said that the manual process of foreign exchange cases took 5-7 days and added that after the automation of such processes, hopefully by June 2020, processing time would be reduced.
He said that SBP has established a facilitation desk for foreign exchange cases and any business person could send a complaint regarding foreign exchange case through email at email address facilitation.
He said that SBP would make all possible efforts to address such complaints.
Speaking at the occasion, Saif ur Rahman Khan, Acting President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry thanked SBP team for organizing awareness session on foreign exchange cases and automation process of SBP at the Chamber for the benefit of the business community.
He said that many importers and exporters were facing great problems in making advance payments due to SBP’s restrictions and emphasized that SBP should look into such cases for ease of doing business.
The representatives of the business community highlighted various problems being faced in foreign exchange cases and urged for their redressal.