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Thousands of imported containers stuck up at Karachi port due to dollars crisis

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of containers loaded with important food items, medical equipment, and raw materials have been stuck up at Karachi port because of the foreign exchange crisis. Importers are not in a position to pay in US dollars to get their containers cleared from the port as the country is facing a foreign exchange crisis. Abdul Majeed said, “I have been in the import/export business for the last four decades and I did not witness such a crisis before.” Abdul Majeed is a representative of the All Pakistan Customs Agents Association. He pointed out that countless containers carrying lentils, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals are lying at the Karachi port. Meanwhile, Maqbool Ahmed Malik said, “Thousands of containers have been stranded at the port just because of the crisis of dollars.” Maqbool Ahmed Malik is the chairman of the customs association. He asserted that customs clearance business has declined by 50% in recent weeks as importers are not able to pay in the dollars to clear their containers. Importantly, the foreign exchange reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan have further plunged to $4.30 billion last week, the lowest since 2014. Consequently, neither the banks are not providing dollars to the importers to clear containers from the port nor opening L/Cs. It may be noted that the coalition government has requested Saudi Arabia, UAE, and China to provide more loans as early as possible to enable Pakistan to fulfill its foreign exchange obligations. The government is also negotiating with the IMF for the disbursement of the next combined tranche of $1.1 billion, pending since September 2022. Interestingly, IMF has been demanding the withdrawal of subsidies on petroleum products and electricity before the release of the next tranche.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.


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