In an effort to reduce the impact of the upcoming lockdown on the trade and industry, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has decided to keep the commercial banks from 10th to 11th May, Monday and Tuesday.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Commerce has also announced that the supply chain for the exporters and export industries will remain operational from 10th to 12th May.
Previously, in line with the NCOC recommendations, SBP announced the closure of banks from 10th to 15th May.
Adviser to Prime Minister of Pakistan for Commerce and Investment, Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood went to Twitter to give a clarification saying, “It is clarified that Export Industries and their suppliers (indirect exporters) will remain open on 10, 11 & 12th May 2021.”
He added, “Limited banking operations will be open to facilitate exporters on 10 and 11th from 9 am-2 pm across Pakistan. Ports and Customs will also be operational during the break period.”
MoC has been approached by the business community for clarification regarding business operations during the EID Holidays. It is clarified that Export Industries and their suppliers (indirect exporters) will remain open on 10, 11 & 12th May 2021. @aliya_hamza
— Abdul Razak Dawood (@razak_dawood) May 6, 2021
Reportedly, the business community expressed concern regarding the closure of banks before Eid Holidays, as they felt that not keeping the money in banks would be unsafe and risky.
Thus, a circular by the State Bank of Pakistan read, “In order to ensure the availability of banking services to trade & industry in particular and public in general during the extended holidays before the forthcoming Eid-ul-Fitr, it has been decided that banks shall open 50% of their total authorized branches dealing in foreign exchange & trade activities on 10th May 2021 (Monday) while the remaining 50% of such branches on 11th May 2021 (Tuesday) from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (without break).”
The fear of impending national lockdown amidst rising COVID-19 infection rate has the trade and industry sector worried as they believe that this closure would lead to the economy and business hurting.
Dawn has reported that keeping in mind the Eid Holidays, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has extended the date of payment and submission of sales tax and federal excise return for April. The final date of payment of sales and federal excise duty has been moved up to 18th May from 15th May set earlier.
Similarly, the date of submission of sales tax and federal excise return has been extended up to May 21 which was earlier set as May 18.