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ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan has directed authorised dealers to swiftly facilitate IT and ITeS exporters, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication said.

The ministry spokesperson told Business Recorder that the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) and Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) have been working with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to ease the foreign currency retention and utilisation issues faced by the IT industry.

In order to address and resolve the issues, the SBP has issued EPD circular letter No 02 of 2023 titled, “Exports of Software, Information Technology (IT) and IT Enabled Services (ITeS)” and EPD circular letter No 03 of 2023 titled, “Utilization of Funds held in Exporters’ Special Foreign Currency Account” on 13th January 2023.

However, due to misinterpretation by the commercial banks, the exporters faced difficulties in converting the foreign currency remittances into PKR, he added.

This issue was highlighted to the finance minister and governor SBP who took note.

As a result, SBP issued directions to the authorised dealers vide EDP ICM letter No 416458 on 27th January 2023 to facilitate IT andITeS exporters in swiftly opening of foreign currency accounts to retain up to 35 per cent of export proceeds, and to ensure timely credit of remittances in the PKR accounts of the exporters until the special foreign currency accounts are opened or the exporter declines to avail the facility of foreign currency retention.

The governor SBP met with the PSEB/MoITT and P@SHA representatives on 30th January 2023 to review the industry issues and concerns. The governor has assured that reported issues will be rectified without delay and emails received at facilitation.itexporters @sbp.org.pk will be addressed immediately.

Progress on the resolution of issues will be reviewed periodically by the SBP, the PSEB/MoITT, and the P@SHA.

The IT and ITeS exporters have been encouraged to raise their specific issues and concerns including concerned bank’s details at the facilitation email address provided by SBP with copy to [email protected] and [email protected].

Facilitation provided by SBP in response to the IT and the ITeS industry demands advocated by PSEB/MOITT and P@SHA will improve the business environment and deliver ease of business for the exporters.

The IT and ITeS businesses and freelancers are encouraged to join hands with the government at this important juncture and avail the opportunity by remitting export proceeds to the country hassle-free.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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