Businessmen warn dollar shortage will hit industry.

PESHAWAR -- Businessmen of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have voiced serious concern about the unavailability of dollars on the market and warned that many industrial units in the province would close down if the situation didn't improve.

They blamed economic crisis in the country on the federal government and called for immediate corrective measures in consultation with stakeholders.

Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mohammad Ishaq told reporters along with the representatives of traders and industrialists that the federal government's anti-business policies had slowed down commercial and industrial growth in the province during the last eight months.

He said the country's economic situation was worsening fast.

'Economy is on the brink of collapse, so the federal government should revisit its policies in consultation with the business community,' he said.

The SCCI chief complained of the 'justifiably' high tariffs on electric supply and said industrial units were struggling to operate.

He said the irony was that power utility recovered Rs3.1 million from closed industrial units as 'fixed charges' during the last one month.

Mr Ishaq said it was unfair to attach a business community with circular debts.

He demanded the restoration of the maximum 'demand indicators' policy after the abolition of fixed charges.

The SCCI president expressed reservation about the ban on the opening of letter of credits for four months and said more than 100,000 LCs had so far been blocked causing 1,800 shipping containers of a private company to get stuck up at the Karachi Port.

He said industrialists paid $200 demurrage for each container on a daily basis.

Mr Ishaq asked the federal government, commerce minister and State Bank of Pakistan to explain position on the matter.

'Consignments of $10.8 billion imported goods have so far got stuck up at the Karachi Port. The situation has become so bad that traders can't import raw materials worth even $1,500-1,600,' he said.

The SCCI president also complained about the growing lawlessness in the province and said the situation was causing unrest in the businessmen, who were often...

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