KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) have decided to take joint action against illegal foreign exchange operators to control volatility in the currency market.
In this regard, a meeting between SBP Governor Jameel Ahmed and FIA Director General Mohsin Butt was held on Tuesday during which important decisions were taken.
For the past several months, the government and SBP have been trying to curb volatility in the currency market and a number of measures have been taken to keep the exchange rate under control. For instance, the SBP recently suspended licences of some foreign exchange companies over noncompliance of its guidelines.
However, hoarders and manipulators are still indulging in illegal activities that have forced the SBP to go for joint action with the FIA against them. The illegal foreign exchange business adversely affects the rate in the open market and increases the gap between the rates in the interbank and open market.
According to the SBP, the heads of the two organisations took stock of illicit foreign exchange activities and chalked out a comprehensive plan of action against the illegal businesses being carried out in the country. It was agreed that concerted and joint efforts are required to apprehend the illegal foreign exchange operators and speculators across the country.
Accordingly, the SBP and FIA have jointly initiated action against illegal foreign exchange operators. To this effect, joint teams of SBP and FIA personnel will identify and take penal and legal actions against the perpetrators so as to curb speculation and the grey market.
The teams, while remaining within the legal mandate allowed to them by the relevant laws, would crack down on all illegal foreign exchange operators and businesses across Pakistan.
Banks and exchange companies are authorised by the SBP to carry out foreign exchange business in Pakistan. Involvement of any person or entity, other than banks and exchange companies, in foreign exchange business is illegal under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022