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National

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PR
August 26, 2017

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Current account deficit may lead to IMF loan: FPCCI chairperson

KARACHI: FPCCI President Zubair Tufail expressed his concern over the alarming increase in trade deficit, amounting to US$32 billion due to higher imports and declining exports; therefore, he proposed to curb the import of luxury items. He said that the current account and trade deficit may lead to new IMF loan. He also urged to finance SMEs for job creation.

FPCCI Standing Committee on Banking, Credit and Finance Chairman Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig informed the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor that SBP’s Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) has been harassing the business community by sharing its banking transactions with Federal Investigation Agency and National Accountability Bureau. This practice affects reputation and dealings of the business community, he added.

On the other hand, the SBP governor clarified that FMU was not a department of the SBP, but it was a wing of the Ministry of Finance. However, he assured to speak to the ministry to stop this practice.

While highlighting his priorities, the SBP governor informed that following were the prioritised high-growth sectors: SMEs, agriculture, housing and construction. He also hoped that Islamic banking in Pakistan would achieve target of 20 percent.

He informed that the EXIM Bank would be functional by December, 2017 and soon SBP would finalise the banking arrangements with Iran for establishing formal banking channels between both countries.

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairperson Tariq Pasha said that there was no solid evidence of money laundering against 2,785 businessmen. The FPCCI has already sent a letter to the FBR chairperson to stop the harassment of registered taxpayers, who are filing their regular income tax returns with proper declaration of their transactions.

Dr Baig appreciated the positive role played by the FBR chairperson and FBR’s Member Inland Revenue Operations Khawaja Tanveer to intervene in this regard. The FPCCI standing committee chairman assured that the FPCCI would support FBR for documentation of economy.

SBP Governor Tariq Bajwa, SBP Deputy Governor Jameel Ahmed, all executive directors and presidents of 17 banks attended the high-profile meeting to review fiscal and monitory policies, credit expansion, agriculture sector performance, manufacturing and service sectors of national economy.

The meeting was organised by FPCCI’s Standing Committee on Banking, Credit and Finance at the Federation House.

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