SBP removes all import restrictions

KARACHI: In a major decision, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has fulfilled a crucial condition set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by removing all restrictions on imports.

This move is expected to invigorate trade, address bottlenecks at the ports and propel economic growth.

The SBP issued a circular announcing the lifting of import restrictions, granting banks the authority to provide foreign exchange to facilitate the release of over 6,000 containers that were previously stranded at the port.

Economic experts said that this step will alleviate the burden on importers and streamline the clearance process, ensuring smoother operations for businesses.

The circular stated that the SBP has revoked all restrictions previously placed on imports. The condition of preferential treatment for foreign exchange allocations has been abolished, signaling a fair and unbiased approach towards all imports.

The circular said that authorized foreign exchange dealers have been directed to provide foreign exchange for all imports without any discrimination.

“The decision to remove import restrictions was made after extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders, taking their feedback and suggestions into account,” the SBP said.

With only a week left before the end of the IMF grace period, the government has been diligently working to meet the IMF’s requirement of lifting the import ban. This approach reflects the commitment of the authorities to comply with international obligations while promoting economic growth and stability.

By removing import restrictions, Pakistan aims to attract foreign investment, encourage trade, and enhance its standing in the global market. The move is expected to boost economic activities, create employment opportunities, and foster a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

The SBP’s decision comes at a critical juncture, as Pakistan seeks to bolster its economy and attract foreign investors.

With import restrictions lifted, businesses across various sectors can now look forward to accessing a wider range of goods and materials, enabling them to expand their operations and meet the demands of a growing market. This step is poised to have a positive impact on both domestic and international trade, providing a significant impetus to Pakistan’s economic progress.

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