SBP refuses to open Afghan relief account thumbnail

SBP refuses to open Afghan relief account

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has told the federal government that it cannot order banks to open relief accounts for Afghanistan due to international sanctions, SAMAA TV reported on Sunday.

However, the federal government is seeking a way out to ensure aid for the people of Afghanistan.

The federal government had written to the central bank, instructing it to issue a circular for opening the Afghan Relief Fund Account at all the scheduled banks.

But, the SBP has informed the government that such a step would create problems for Pakistan as it would be viewed in light of Pakistan’s commitment to the FATF and other bodies.

Speaking to SAMAA TV, SBP Deputy Governor Dr Inayat Hussain has said that Pakistan has two options to create an Afghan relief fund: the government could use international platforms or it could create an individual relief fund without involving the banks.

He said due to international sanctions transferring relief money to Afghanistan using the conventional banking channels would be a challenge. The Finance Division needs to consult with the foreign minister and the law ministry over it, said Dr Hussain.

Pakistan is at the forefront in efforts to ensure aid for Afghan people who risk hunger and death after international aid has been suspended since August 15, when the Taliban took over Kabul.

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