Foreign exchange operations to be fully automated by June: SBP

KARACHI: Digitalisation of foreign exchange has been expanded from 8 to 13 banks and majority of the banks will be managing 100pc FX operations digitally by June 2021.

This was stated by State Bank of Pakistan’s Banking Services Corporation Managing Director Muhammad Ashraf Khan during his meeting with the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) officials on Monday.

He said the initiative to digitise foreign exchange operations was taken to create ease for the business community, as it would completely eradicate paperwork and expedite the overall process.

He noted that everything now has been transferred from manual to digital processing and customers have the freedom to get online any time either from their home or office to apply for delivery of remittances without any paperwork.

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Assuring complete support and cooperation, he stressed that the business and industrial community must come forward to adopt digital mode for foreign exchange, wherein the customers can get registered themselves and track progress of case while relevant bank staff is also intimated about the progress and history of all the transactions is maintained in a paperless environment.

KCCI Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan, in his remarks, pointed that a central bank plays the role of a heart in the economic development of a country by ensuring smooth circulation of funds and “it is heartening to see that the State Bank has also been responsibly playing its role in an efficient manner”.

“However, the growth in remittances being witnessed nowadays may not last long. Hence, the SBP needs to come up with some kind of the effective policy or incentive package which encourages Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRPs) to invest in numerous sectors of the economy,” he said.

Encouraging such investments by NRPs would prove would not only help in dealing with economic crises but would also promote industrialisation and create abundant employment opportunities on long term, he added.

He also stressed the need to take concrete measures for effectively dealing with the menace of smuggling which terribly hinders the legal trade and causes losses to the national exchequer. In this regard, he particularly suggested establishing a Common Industrial Zone or Common Industrial Park near Pak-Iran border where all customs duties/ taxes should be kept at minimum level. This zone should be fully equipped with required infrastructure and it would attract a large number of industrialists to set up their units and warehouses in this particular zone.

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