KARACHI: President of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) Faraz-ur-Rehman has suggested to the government that if the State Bank is not opening LCs, then traders should be allowed to buy dollars from the open market so that they may pay for their containers stuck at the port.

Faraz-ur-Rehman said that at this time the traders are being fined heavily in dollars in terms of demurrage charges. Due to these demurrage charges, traders are suffering huge losses which they cannot afford.

President KATI suggested that the government should move all containers to the customs warehouses to avoid demurrage charges in dollars.

Faraz-ur-Rehman said: “We believe that there is a severe shortage of foreign exchange in the country; according to media reports, the State Bank has reserves of $6.7 billion as of December 2, just enough to pay one month's import bill.

On the other hand, China and the aid money given by Saudi Arabia are also included in it and the government cannot spend these amounts. Faraz-ur-Rehman said that if the government takes the business community into confidence and consults with them, it will cooperate and support the government with various initiatives.

President KATI said that the government should allow the traders to bring cash dollars from abroad so that they can avoid huge losses by removing the goods stuck at the port.

Faraz further said that the government should prioritize the economy over politics in this difficult time, and consult with all stakeholders to get the country out of the economic crisis and formulate a comprehensive long-term economic policy that should not be changed for at least 10 years.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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