Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) said that due to continued sanctions and third party payment not being implemented, Pakistan’s commercial banks refuse transactions related to Afghanistan.
In a statement PAJCCI said that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has provided alternate solutions by allowing CoC facility (withdrawn in December 2021), trading in Pakistan currency and third-party payments.
“The reluctance of commercial banks in processing third party payments in the context of Afghanistan is critically affecting the conduct of business,” PAJCCI said. “Additionally difficulty in obtaining E-forms for CIS countries is limiting businesses to reap available opportunities.”
The PAJCCI said currently business community on both sides is facing hardships and requires immediate resolution to ensure that trade continues and revenue is generated for both countries.
The PAJCCI quoted Arshad Bhatti, Executive Director, Banking Policy and Regulations Group as saying that SBP has not implemented any restriction on commercial banks in Pakistan, however cross border corresponding banks are refusing to conduct any transaction related to Afghanistan due to international sanctions.
However, Bhatti said, in light of the recent amendment of GLA by the US Treasury Department, SBP has been in constant communication with corresponding banks overseas and their representatives in Pakistan to resolve the issue.
In addition Bhatti said that in cases where banks refuse any legitimate request, the same can be escalated to SBP via PAJCCI offices and SBP will take it up with relevant banks.
Zubair Motiwala, Chairman PAJCCI appreciated SBP and hoped that in the light of current amendments in GLA & UN aid package, the issue of transaction processing will be resolved.