State bank has made biometric proof compulsory for buying $500 or more. This step is taken in order to restrict the purchase of a dollar from the open market.
Biometric proof Compulsory for buying $500 or above: SBP
The basic aim behind this step is to stop the outflow of dollars from Pakistan to Afghanistan since this outflow has resulted in an increase in dollar demand and price, so it is destabilizing the exchange rate. Previously the dollar purchase from the open market only required a copy of the national identity card.
Regarding this the bank said:
“The exchange companies will be required to conduct biometric verification for all foreign currency sale transactions equivalent to $500 and above and outward remittances”.
Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan, Malik Bostan said:
“The condition of biometric on purchase of $500 and above will help to reduce buying from open market which is the target of the State Bank as well as the government,”
Other than this, the State Bank of Pakistan has also taken several steps to control the steep depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar. As decided, each person travelling to Afghanistan will be allowed to carry a maximum of $1,000 per visit, whereas the yearly limit would be $6000 for each individual.
Regarding this, a circular issued by SBP noted that:
“In order to enhance transparency in the foreign currency transactions by exchange companies and to curb the undesirable outflow of cash foreign currency, the State Bank has introduced some regulatory measures,”
Following this, the exchange firms will sell the cash foreign currency and will make outward remittances equivalent to $10,000 and above, against receipt of funds through cheque or banking channels only”.
The SBP said:
“These regulatory measures will help to improve documentation of the sale of foreign currency by exchange companies and place a check on the undesirable outflow of foreign currency”.