Taking out currencies to Dubai: SBP refuses time extension to money changers

KARACHI (March 16 2003) : The State Bank has refused money changers' request to extend the deadline for carrying currencies other than US dollars out of the country, but the final decision will be taken on Monday.

The State Bank on February 15, stopped the money changers from taking out foreign currency notes, other than dollars, to Dubai and authorised two foreign exchange companies to take-over this business.

However, the deadline for this ban was extended to March 15 and the moneychangers were told to complete their business by this date.

After a week, the State Bank made it clear that the deadline of March 15 would not be extended.

However, the money changers were hopeful that the deadline would be extended.

Banking sources said that the moneychangers met SBP officials on Saturday and requested them to extend the deadline, at least for 10 days, but the Bank officials refused.

At the same time, sources close to money changers said that no final decision has been taken and it would be decided on Monday whether to extend the period or not.

The moneychangers argued that the previous experiment had been a failure when the National Bank of Pakistan was authorised to take out these currencies instead of moneychangers and the bank could not handle the inflow of currencies from 479 moneychangers.

However, the two foreign exchange companies had reservations as to why the deadline of February 15 was extended and said that they were quite capable to deal with the currencies business.

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