LAHORE: - Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Regional Standing Committee on gems & jewellery Chairman and Gold & Gems Art Promotion Council of Pakistan president Muhammad Ahmad has rejected the statement of State Bank of Pakistan in which it alleged that import policy and SRO 760 was being misused.

Muhammad Ahmad said that the schedule banks were not opening accounts of the jewellers for a long time while their running accounts were also being shut down. He said country’s exports had fallen at the lowest level due to conditions in SRO 760. He said that the central bank had given suggestions to finance ministry regarding import duties and payment in accordance with India but it had ignored the facilities being offered to Indian importers. Due to facilities available to Indian jewllers from their government, the gems and jewellery sector of India was flourishing across the world, said Mr. Ahmad. He further said that the new rules in SRO 760 were creating hurdle in the way of new importers and such SRO created irregularities. He said State Bank of Pakistan was requested to address the issue of jewellers’ accounts but it did not bother to hear their grievances which subsequently were damaging the business at local level. 

uch steps were damaging the jewelers while people associated with gems and jewellery sector were already suffering a lot due to financial problems, said Mr. Ahmad adding that jewelers were continuously being exploited. He demanded State Bank of Pakistan’s governor to take action against banks who were not opening accounts of jewelers. He also demanded him to change SRO 760.

On Tuesday, SBP asked the Ministry of Finance to formalise gold imports as the existing two facilities to import the commodity were being misused.

In a letter to the finance ministry, the State Bank said gold imports should be formalised by allowing payments through the interbank market. It has also suggested that the existing two modes of importing gold may be discontinued.

The SBP urged the finance ministry to take up the matter with commerce ministry, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).