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August 29, 1999

  1. International
  2. Finance
  3. Industry
  4. Policy
  5. Trade

Spare parts import up to $7,000 without opening LC allowed

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Thursday avowed banks to issue up to $7,000 per fiscal year against foreign currency demand draft for import of spare parts and machinery by industrial establishments without opening letter of credit.

The facility will be valid for the fiscal year 1999-2000 only.

Moreover, these imports are confined to be made by air or by courier.

The banks have been asked to maintain a record of all such drafts issued by them.

They have also to obtain from the applicant a declaration showing the amount already remitted by him during the current financial year and issue draft only upto the extent of the balance entitlement.

In addition to that, the banks have been asked to obtain exchange control copy of Bill of Entry and evidence to the effect that the import was made by air/ courier.

These records will be retained by banks till the inspection of the concerned bank branch by the State Bank inspectors.

The facility for the import of spare parts and machinery was announced by Finance Minister in his budget speech for the year 1999-2000.

Mango export from Multan up by 52pc

Mango exports from Multan have gone up this year by an impressive 52 per cent compared to its export last year.

Last year, during the three main exporting months of June, July & August, some 148 tons of mangoes were exported to the European countries from Multan. While this year, so far, as much as 225 tons of mangoes have been exported.

Month-wise export of the fruit compared to its exports of corresponding period of last year is as follows:

June, 60 tons (20); July, 72 tons (28) and August 70 tons so far, (100).

IDB amends export financing scheme

The Board of Executive Directors of Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) while approving modifications in the Export Financing Scheme EFS to be utilized by exporters and importers of member countries raised percentage of financing coverage to 100 percent subject to other provision that financing should be secured against guarantees acceptable to IDB.

A press release of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) said here Thursday that IDB approved modifications in the scheme recently with a view to make its utilization easier and faster by exporters and importers of member states. The currency of denomination and repayment of the scheme will be in US dollars.

IDB has enlarged criteria for eligible goods by reducing the local content requirement from 40 percent to 30 percent.

Exports in June up

Exports in the month of June 1999 registered an unprecedented increase of 27 percent compared with the exports made in June in the previous year. The exports valued at 806 million dollars were the highest in the last three years. The export figures for the month of July, the first month of the new financial year, amounted to 600 million dollars, which is one percent higher than the same month last year.

The positive growth in exports after negative growth of several months was disclosed by Wajid Jawad, Minister of State and Export Promotion Bureau Chairman at a press briefing at the EPB head office on Thursday.

Consignments of milk powder stuck up

The meeting between milk powder importers and senior Customs officials remained inclusive on Wednesday and consignments worth Rsl60 million could not be cleared due to confusion over levy of 15 per cent general sales tax (GST).

Around 500-600 metric tons (Rs50-60 million) of vegetable fat-filled milk powder is still awaiting clearance from Customs while over 1,000mt worth Rs100 million is stuck-up at Customs bonded warehouses since last one week, importers informed the Collector of Customs (Appraisement).

Wheat price

The Agriculture Price Commission will meet in the first week of next month to formally approve the proposed wheat support price of Rs300 per 40 kg from present Rs240. Sources close to the federal agriculture ministry said the government wanted that the new support price must be announced well before the coming rabi season starting from October.

Palm oil prices may drop

Palm oil prices are expected to drop during the next month after the Malaysian government has allowed its major companies to export crude palm oil duty-free to boost the falling exports.

Importers say although Pakistan mostly import refined palm oil to feed its vanaspati ghee industry the duty waiver of 10 per cent to major five Malaysian oil exporting companies could lower prices of refined oil by the same amount.

The Malaysian government has allowed its five major producers, Felda, Sime Derry, Guthire, KLKepong and K.O.G.L, to export crude oil duty-free in a bid to boost falling exports of its leading foreign exchange earner.

No GST on fresh, dried milk: CBR

Central Board of Revenue (CBR) on Saturday advised all collectorates of customs that no sales tax is applicable on fresh and dried milk powder imports.

A letter issued by CBR on August 21 said, "SRO 922(I)/99 dated 16.8.99 simply withdraws the aforesaid exemption of Sixth Schedule to the Sales Tax Act, 1990, but does not interfere with the exemption granted on fresh and dried milk whether or not packed for retail sale."

The letter said if there still remains any doubt or confusion, a detailed reference may be made to CBR.

Kenyan market

Pakistan agricultural machinery and spare parts are in great demand in Kenya, High Commissioner of Pakistan in Kenya, Mr Hameed A. Kidwai, said on Saturday.

The High Commissioner who visited Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry said light engineering products, pharmaceutical goods could also be exported to Kenya.

Mr. Kidwai said Kenya is the hub of trade activities in East Africa and a large market, which offers great opportunities for Pakistani products.

He said that Kenya could also be effectively used to reach neighbouring East African countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda, etc.