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KARACHI: Chairman of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has promised to withdraw unnecessary notices against the Exchange Companies.

According to Malik Bostan, Chairman Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP), this assurance was given by FBR Chairman Dr Ashfaq Ahmed in a meeting with exchange companies earlier this week.

He said during the meeting, unnecessary notices of millions of rupees by the FBR to the exchange companies were discussed in detail. In particular, the Federal Excise Duty (FED) notices, which the FBR had already withdrawn in 2016, are being again sent to exchange companies.

Bostan said after the imposition of 16 percent FED, the dollar rate will increase by 16 percent and this will encourage the public towards the black market instead of formal, legal trading through exchange companies. “This will not only directly hurt the legal trade of greenback and other foreign exchange but also result in higher exchange rate and the dollar is expected to be more than Rs 200,” he maintained.

He said during the meeting, Chairman FBR promised that the board will withdraw unnecessary notices and exchange companies will not be harassed.

Bostan requested that the FED notices should also be withdrawn immediately in the larger interest of the exchange rate. In addition, he informed the Chairman FBR that POS systems are already installed on the counters of all the exchange companies.

“There is no need to install new POS systems,” he said, adding that Exchange Companies systems must be connected with NADRA subject to permission of the SBP.

If there will be a need to connect the Exchange Companies’ system with the FBR, ECAP will notify after consulting with all the members and approval from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

He said the black market is already growing due to the SBP’s biometric verification of customers for buying of foreign exchange. He asked the FBR to consult with SBP and if SBP will allow Exchange companies to connect their POS system with the FBR.

This story first appeared in Business Recorder on January 22, 2022