KARACHI: Pakistan Business Council (PBC) on Thursday proposed the government to facilitate manufacturers with some exemptions to avoid operational disruption and delays in receiving permission from the Foreign Exchange Operations Department (FEOD) for import of goods.

Manufacturers operating in essential industries such as food, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, or those with active export orders should be exempted from complying with the provision of EPD Circular 11, PBC said.

The circular requires authorised dealers to seek prior permission from the FEOD, SBP-BSC before initiating transactions for import of goods listed in the annexure to the circular.

“We have been informed that there are inordinate delays in receiving permissions from the FEOD,” PBC said.

“We are cognizant of the effect that disruption of production would have on tax revenue, cash flow and borrowing costs and the associated risk of loan impairment of the banking sector,” it added.

The board also proposed that manufacturer in other than essential industries be allowed to import spares and instruments of a maximum value of $100,000 in a three-month period without having to comply with the restrictions imposed through EPD Circular 11.

Furthermore, manufacturers should be provided clarity on the period for which they will not be allowed to import components required for production without prior permission and the time it would take to process such applications so that they could plan production and continued deployment of labour, the council suggested.

PBC, which is composed of the country’s largest manufacturers and exporters, said it acknowledged reasons behind the issuance of EPD Cricular 11, and proposed ways to minimise both operation disruption and impact on the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

The council stated that the manufacturing sector was crucial for employment as well as exports, and any facilitation provided to the sector would help reduce the current account balance.

Published in The News International