Commercial banks in Pakistan have failed to come up with innovative and customized facilities for the IT sector including FX Digital Portal and Corporate Debit Cards despite the clear instruction of the banking regulator.
The IT exporters were promised exclusive solutions through which they can perform business transactions mainly for enhancing exports of IT and IT-enabled services by the government and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
In this connection, the central issued a circular on the directives of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif instructing banks to provide digital platforms including the FX digital portal and corporate debit cards.
The banks were also advised to facilitate these exporters in opening their exporters’ special FCY accounts to carry out their business with foreign clients in different countries which was followed by a handful of banks offering this service to IT exporters.
Unfortunately, banks are reluctant to follow the instructions of the banking regulator which has cost the country’s IT sector and resulted in a decline of 3 percent in IT export till April 2023, instead of showing any growth.
The facilities were promised to encourage IT exporters to bring their foreign exchange earnings into the country, and the banks were advised to mandatorily credit 35 percent of the export proceeds into these exporters’ special foreign currency account besides introducing customized digital products.
The circular issued by the banking regulator was issued with a short deadline of March-end which caused the banks to be lax in introducing the services and products.
IT exporters have urged the SBP to issue the circular again with an extended deadline for the banks and ensure a monitoring system to ensure the launch of the services to IT exporters.