SBP to Impose New Restrictions on US Dollar Purchase Along With Compulsory Biometric Verification

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has come up with a plan to make biometric verification mandatory for purchasing $500 and above in foreign currency at exchange companies, a move centered on combating dollar hoarding.

This was informed by central bank officials at a meeting of the SIFC Apec Committee dated 3 January 2024, Geo News reported on Friday.

SIFC was also briefed that SBP has cut the US$ purchase limit for travel purposes from $10,000 to $5,000, and the annual restriction from $60,000 to $30,000. Anyone purchasing $2000 or more from exchange companies must pay with their PKR account.

The central bank has set a daily US dollar purchase restriction of $10,000 and an annual purchase limit of $100,000.

The Federal Investigation Agency will probe and thwart illegal foreign exchange operations alongside SBP and other pertinent authorities.

It bears mentioning that the central bank first tried to implement such a plan in 2021, making biometric verification mandatory for all purchases of $500 and above.

“The exchange companies will be required to conduct biometric verification for all foreign currency sale transactions equivalent to $500 and above and outward remittances,” it said in a circular dated October 6, 2021. At the time, the PKR/$ interbank rate was trading in the 170-172 range.

  • If the state bank is really interested in bringing in dollars into Pakistan by genuine overseas Pakistanis , it should make it easier for them to bring in and sell to exchange companies.

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