The required biometric verification of dollar buyers by exchange companies has been activated by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Saturday temporarily allowed exchange companies to sell over $500 to individuals on production of biometric certification from Nadra’s e-Sahulat outlets.
Despite the exchange companies’ request for an extension of the deadline for its application owing to various concerns, authority has deployed this filter immediately.
On 7 October, the central bank made biometric authentication necessary for purchases of $500 or more from the open market in an effort to stem dollar outflow to Afghanistan following a surge in demand that destabilized the open market exchange rate.
According to media reports, millions of dollars were smuggled into Afghanistan, particularly following the political change. As a result, the State Bank has given exchange businesses until October 22 to biometrically verify currency sales in dollars.
The Chairman of the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan, Malik Bostan, wrote a letter to the State Bank of Pakistan requesting an extension of the deadline, saying, “We have written a request letter to the State Bank for an extension of the deadline because the technical solution for biometric verification is required before the application of this restriction.”
The request was turned down, and the National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA) biometric system for US Dollar purchases is now operational.
The rupee’s slide against the US dollar continues despite a number of measures introduced by the State Bank to ease the pressure on the exchange rate.