KARACHI: President of SITE Association of Industry Riaz Uddin, in a press statement, has expressed grave concern over unannounced ban imposed by the government on import of goods, non-clearance of consignments and unavailability of US Dollars with banks and appealed the PM Shehbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to allow unrestricted import of industrial raw material, machinery/ spare parts.

He has also urged the government to take immediate steps to ensure availability of forex; otherwise industries may go closed down, which will have adverse impact on the national overall economy.

In an appeal, SITE President said that industries in Karachi have already been suffering due to prevailing gas crisis, whereas in the wake of non-clearance of consignments of industrial raw material and machinery/ parts on time, many industries are closing down.

Riaz Uddin expressed apprehension that in case the industrial raw material, machinery and parts and other necessary imported items are not cleared by the government ‘on time’ together with timely payment of imported goods, there will be a severe shortage of basic goods and critical items in the days to come.

He said that the unannounced and improper policy of the government aimed at containing imports is beyond comprehension. Former Finance Minister imposed ban on luxury items, which later was removed on foreign pressure. Ban on import of items under Chapters 84 & 85, imposed five months ago, is badly affecting industrial activities, resulting in closure of industrial units.

“There are thousands of containers on the port awaiting clearance, pending due to Forex crisis. The SBP first put ban on payments of 100,000 dollars and then on 50,000 dollars. The SBP and commercial banks are now unable to clear even the documents on their maturity at 30, 60 or 90 days, leaving bad reputation of local importing industries since foreign sellers are not trusting local manufacturers & exporters anymore,” Riaz Uddin added.

SITE President demanded the government to announce effective policy measures if the import-compression is to be done in a proper manner. The imports of non-essential and non-productive capital goods, luxury vehicles and cell phones, etc., may be deferred together with ban on other unnecessary items to save foreign exchange. Import of necessary items should; however, be allowed so that activities continue without hindrance and export consignments are shipped on time.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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