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KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, while referring to deep concerns being expressed by commercial and industrial importers of raw materials whose LCs were mostly being denied by banks, urged the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Governor State Bank Jameel Ahmed to take strict notice of banks’ denial which was purely against the government’s commitments and assurances given from time to time about smooth issuance of LCs.

In a statement issued, President KCCI pointed out that although some improvement was witnessed but it seems that the situation was once again heading towards the same disaster as not a single LC was being issued by the banks which has creating severe crises for the business community. “The government must promptly intervene in this particular issue to save the economy as well as business, particularly the exports from plunging into further crises,” he added.

Tariq Yousuf particularly noted that although Finance Minister issued clear-cut instructions to commercial banks to facilitate export-oriented sectors in opening LCs for raw material, machinery, spare parts and other items so that industry’s supply line could be restored but the banks were actually not obeying these orders and it seems that they have been given freehand as the SBP was also not taking any kind of decisive action against banks regardless of the fact the number of LC-related complaints have been rising with every passing day and not a single bank was willing to entertain LC cases.

He stressed that the importers of essential items whether commercial or industrial should be treated at par because industrial importers cannot import everything by themselves as there were many things which are to be purchased from the market as the inventory or the consumption does not allow them to import everything on their own. “Therefore, the import by commercial importers of raw materials for the industries, particularly the export-oriented industries, is critical so it should not be stopped at any cost.”

He reiterated that the banks denial to issue LCs should be taken as a very urgent matter and strict directives have to be immediately issued with a view to save industrial production from further deterioration.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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