Nairobi, March 21 -- Kenyan tea is still held at the Karachi port even after Islamabad gave a directive to allow banks to give traders a letter of credit (LC) to free the commodity five days ago.

The State Bank of Pakistan on Thursday listed tea as an essential food commodity, a move that would allow banks to issue LCs to tea traders.

Nearly 200 containers of Kenyan tea have since last month been held at the port in Karachi as traders lack LCS, which is mandatory before the ships are allowed to offload the beverage.

Pakistan is suffering from a serious dollar shortage, forcing it to restrict imports in order to preserve the little that is remaining in foreign reserves.

"The tea is still being held up at the port in Pakistan," said Pet...