LAHORE-Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Sunday demanded to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to expedite the process of import payments to avoid disruptions in industrial production.

FPCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and Regional Chairman Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi said that swift import payments would also help avoid unbearable demurrage charges; loss-making delays in the fulfillment of export orders and inflationary pressures in the domestic markets.

The FPCCI chief explained that unavailability of foreign exchange, continuous rupee depreciation and speculative trading were affecting the manufacturers and commercial importers, and exports had started to fall. He added that the country would suffer due to the dwindling exports, increasing trade deficit and yawning current account deficit (CAD).

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh maintained that SBP must also check the commercial banks which were making willful profits through speculative trading of dollars.

Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi pointed out that there were still difficulties in opening LCs (Letters of credit) with commercial banks under chapters 84 and 85 of the customs tariff, despite the circular issued by SBP to the commercial banks in this regard.

Nadeem Qureshi highlighted that industrialists and their representatives were already under unprecedented strains due to various factors including shortage of dollars in the banking channel.