Rice exporters to Iran need currency swap for payments: UNISAME

Karachi: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has invited the attention of President Asif Ali Zardari that his proposal for currency swap agreement with Iran needs to be implemented promptly as exports to Iran of rice and other commodities are at standstill due to sanctions on Iran by the world organizations to isolate it and exclude it from the dollar network.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said goods are not being exported to Iran directly and whatever little is being exported to Iran is via Dubai which is not viable any more due to devaluation of Iran’s currency and secondly the Dubai middlemen are demanding commission for their services besides expenses and freight to Iranian ports.
He said to overcome the restrictions and tough situation the Iranian government has opened accounts with Pakistani banks in euros but this really does not facilitate the Pakistani exporters who after exports have to wait till such time the banks ledger shows sufficient balance to honour the bill drawn on the buyer.

The union chief has emphasized the urgent need for currency swap with Iran to facilitate both the countries for imports and exports to and from each other for various goods and promotion of healthy trade in the mutual interest of both the countries.

Thaver pointed out that whilst India is exporting substantial quantities of rice to Iran due to timely currency disbursement arrangements with Iran our commerce and finance ministries are still mulling over the currency swap proposal causing loss to the exchequer on the one hand and loss of export markets on the other. Many SME rice processing units have closed down due to lack of orders, load shedding, tough competition from India due to bumper rice crop and above all unfriendly policies of government who is giving a deaf ear to the difficulties faced by the rice exporters.

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