PESHAWAR: Opposing an increase of 150 basis points to 13.75 percent in its benchmark policy rate by State Bank of Pakistan, the business community on Tuesday termed the decision detrimental to the country’s economy.
The decision was made during a joint meeting of traders and industrialists, which was chaired by Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) President Hanain Khurshid Ahmad at the Chamber’s House here.
The business community urged the prime minister and minister for finance to take notice of it and bring reduction in interest rate at an optimal level.
“The SBP has already increased the policy rate by 2.5 percent and yesterday’s further increase of 1.5 per cent is the highest markup rate in Pakistan. It will enhance the cost of industrial production and create
difficulties in businesses and trade activities,” Hasnain Khurshid told the meeting.He added that the hike would bring a new wave of inflation in the country and would also negatively impact the country’s exports.
The SCCI chief said that the current statistical figures were indicating negative growth. “The economy is on the brink of complete collapse due to the gradual strengthening of the dollar against Pakistan rupee,” Khurshid added.
The chamber’s president called for revisiting economic policies. He emphasised that it was essential in the prevailing scenario that policies should be made independently to pull the country out of the economic crisis.
The SCCI chief said in the present scenario, the country’s economy needs support and every decision should be taken with due care and consideration. He urged the Acting SBP Governor Dr Murtaza Syed to take back the decision of increase in interest rate.