The Ministry of Finance has issued a notification barring people from putting money into their foreign currency accounts after buying it from the local money market.
It did not, however, specify which accounts these were. If it means foreign currency accounts Pakistani citizens are allowed to hold at banks, that ostensibly means Pakistanis cannot fully utilise those accounts as they will not be able to make deposits in them.
Currency purchased from the market cannot be transferred to a foreign currency account, according to the notification.
It said the accounts can receive remittances from abroad or direct transfers from individual accounts but cannot be used to receive payments for goods exported from Pakistan, payments for services rendered in or from Pakistan, proceeds of securities issued or sold to non-residents or foreign currency borrowed from abroad.
The State Bank recently launched Roshan Digital Accounts for overseas Pakistanis and local Pakistanis who wants to repatriate their wealth they earn outside Pakistan.
Overseas Pakistanis can now also invest in Pakistan’s stock market and government bonds through these accounts. They can move profits made from their investments.
The purpose of initiating and facilitating foreign currency accounts was to attract more foreign exchange coming into the country.
These changes have been made to prevent money laundering. Foreign currency obtained from money changers, dealer or exchange companies cannot be put into foreign currency accounts.
To put money from Pakistan into a foreign currency account, special permission needs to be sought from the State Bank.