The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has taken a significant step by lifting restrictions on importing US dollars for exchange companies.
The central bank’s new circular permits exchange companies to import cash US dollars against the value of their export consignments of permissible foreign currencies, as needed. This import can be done within five working days through reputable cargo/security companies.
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The arrangement is initially set to be in effect until December 31, 2023, with the condition that exchange companies can import cash US dollars up to a maximum of 50% of the value of their export consignments during this period.
However, the SBP emphasizes that exchange companies must ensure full compliance with all relevant laws and regulations, both in Pakistan and the jurisdiction from where the US dollars are being imported.
It is crucial for them to accurately record all transactions related to the import of cash in their books of accounts.
Best decision by SBP
Zafar Paracha, the General Secretary of the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP), expressed his appreciation for the central bank’s decision.
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He believes that this move will effectively bridge the gap between open market and interbank rates, ultimately aiding in overcoming the dollar shortage in the country. Overall, this step by the State Bank of Pakistan is seen as a positive and welcome measure to address dollar-related challenges in the nation.