LAHORE: The Pakistan Business Council (PBC) on Thursday said that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) should exempt the essential industries from the condition of prior permission from the central bank for the import of spares and instruments.

In a letter to SBP acting governor Dr Murtaza Syed on Thursday, PBC chief executive Ehsan Malik said that inordinate delays in receiving permission from the SBP’s Foreign Exchange Operations Department are causing difficulties to the manufacturers in operating their existing plant and machinery.

The PBC, comprising the country’s largest manufacturers and exporters, suggested that the essential industries like food, agriculture, fertilizer, or pharmaceuticals or those with active export orders be exempted from complying with the prior permission in respect of spares and instruments.

It also said that other sectors should also be allowed to import spares and instruments worth $100,000 in a three-month period under the same exemption.

The letter said that the authorities should also clarify on the period for which they would not be allowed to import the components required for production without prior permission and the time it would take to process such applications so that they could plan production and continue deployment of labour.

Otherwise, it cautions, the disruption of production would negatively affect the tax revenue, cash
flow, and borrowing costs and the associated risk of loan impairment of the banking sector.

Published in Dawn