KARACHI: The local banks have suddenly stopped receiving payments in the form of remittance in USD and AED and refusing issuing E-Form to export various products including soyabean meal to Afghanistan, industry sources said.
Resultantly, there is massive haulage of vehicles at Pak-Afghan border. These vehicles are loaded with various products including soyabean meal with the promise by banks that by the time vehicles reach the border Form-E will be issued.
Banks have returned around $5.0 million to exporters of soyabean meal that were paid through foreign remittances and the equal amount is stuck with banks, for which banks are planning to return.
Till last week, exports to Afghanistan were going smooth. Buying registered Dubai-based companies were making remittances in advance against proforma invoice and soyabean meal was being shipped to Afghanistan. Since transaction of export was happening through banking legal channel, after receiving payment in the sellers account, banks were issuing E-Form which is presented at the Customs desk at border and in return Customs issue Goods Declaration Form against which sellers can get 17 percent tax adjusted or refunded on meal exports to Afghanistan.
“All of sudden all banks have stopped receiving payments in the form of remittances in the USD or AED and even those who had received money, have refused to issue E-Form which is a legal document for legal exports,” Liaqat Ali Chohan, one of the leading exporters of soyabean meal to Afghanistan told Business Recorder.
“When contacted, bank authorities say that the State Bank of Pakistan has stopped and when we tried to confirm through State Bank of Pakistan, their response was that they have never issued any such instruction,” he added.
Liaqat Ali Chohan, who has been CEO of Iffco Pakistan, a UAE-based company and currently heading a private company as managing director shared that exports of several food items adversely affected including soyabean meal due to this issue of E-Form. He confirmed that soyabean meal exporters again went back to different banks and it was revealed that Afghanistan is in the list of countries which are under UN/USA sanctions. That is why head offices of the banks worldwide have issued directions for not accepting money or issuing E-Form for any product category that requires E-Form.
In the meanwhile, there is massive haulage of vehicles at both the borders. These were loaded with various products including soyabean meal with the promise by the banks that by the time vehicles reach to border E-Form will be issued as it had started taking 2-4 days, Chohan said.
But now the banks have refused to issue E-Form. The matter was brought to the notice of State Bank of Pakistan, he said.
Afghanistan has massive and huge poultry forms and feed mills. For poultry meal, they mainly import from Pakistan. It’s been more than a week that stocks have not reached there and there is high risk of death of birds (poultry) if feed runs out of stock, Chohan said.
“On one side we are crying for foreign reserves and remittance and on the other no one at the government level is willing to sort out or fix this issue of exports through banking channel to Afghanistan,” he maintained.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022