KARACHI – Pakistan is currently facing hard times due to alarming slump in foreign exchange reserves and another crisis is looming that could affect the tea lovers in the country.
An official of the Pakistan Team Association (PTA) said around 300 containers carrying tea were struck at the Karachi for a month, warning that the commodity could be rare by next month if these were not released timely.
The South Asian country spends over $600 million to import team, making it the world’s largest team importer.
The ongoing decline in forex reserves has forced authorities to place restrictions on import of certain items while the commercial banks are not issuing letters of credit (LCs) to the importers who are upset over non-clearance of their shipments.
“Around 300 [tea] containers are stuck at the Karachi port and if they are not released immediately, tea will become a rare commodity by next month,” PTA top official Aman Paracha told Arab News.
He said the State Bank of Pakistan had asked PTA to submit a request for the release of their containers on a deferred payment basis.
“We wrote to the state bank but then a restriction was made that only Bill of Lading of up until January 18 will be considered,” he said, adding that the non-clearance of containers will not only brew a tea crisis but also caused losses to the importers.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the central bank said that the SBP had asked the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) to share the details of containers of each association as it was not possible to speak to every individual. He also assured that the issues of importers will be resolved on priority.
Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 26, 2024 (Monday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.
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