KARACHI  - President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Abdullah Zaki has expressed the need for opening banks on Saturday to facilitate exports.

Welcoming Federal Board of Revenue’s recent notification regarding opening of Customs Houses on Saturdays, he said this positive step has brought a partial impact on timely collection of duty/ taxes and would be fully beneficial when commercial banks, SBP-BSC Offices and NIFT also work six days a week. Referring to KCCI office bearers and BMG leaderships’ meeting with the President of Pakistan, President KCCI highly appreciated President Mamnoon Hussain and Federal Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar on issuing directives to the FBR to issue notification for opening of Custom Houses on Saturdays.

He said that although FBR has issued relevant notification according to the aspirations of business community and Custom Houses remain open on Saturday, however,  the businessmen were unable to take full advantage of this step due to closure of banking activities on Saturdays.

He was of the view that the services of National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT), which is responsible for carrying out the entire clearing procedure and SBP’s Banking Services Corporation (BSC), which is overseeing the operation of the clearing house for the commercial banks operating within their jurisdiction, must be available on Saturdays at least for half day to facilitate timely clearance of payment instruments of various commercial banks.

Abdullah said that the business community was facing problems due to closure of banks on Saturdays and the resultant delays in clearance of cheques. It is highly unfair to wait for next week for a cheque deposited on Friday to get cleared, which was not only causing unnecessary delays but also incurring losses to the business community.

He urged the authorities concerned to pay attention to this issue and advise the State Bank of Pakistan and all other stakeholders including SBP-BSC, NIFT and commercial banks to keep operating on Saturdays in order to facilitate various banking transactions, particularly the cheque clearance process.