Business community urges SBP slash interest rate down to 5%

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ABID RAZA

LAHORE : Business and industrial community here on Friday  hailed the yet another fresh move of the State Bank  to reduce interest rate by another one per cent and urged the government to further slash it down to 5 percent offset gradually  the negative impact of coronavirus.

They also urged the government to announce another incentive package for the revival of small and medium sized Industry which was playing a vital role in national economy building employment generation.

SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) President designate Iftikhar Ali Malik urged the State Bank to further cut policy rate for easy access to finance for the local industry and exporters who were confronting  new challenges and uncertain conditions.

Iftikhar Malik also urged for the payment of sales tax and income tax pending  refund of the value-added sector demanded and rebate, waiver of mark-up in export refinancing and relaxation in loan repayments.

He also urged the need of deferment of payment of utility bills and waiver of surcharges for at least next three years, restoration of zero-rated sales tax regime and exemption from welfare fund contributions.
He said that the government’s resolve to contain the spread of virus was commendable and foreign industries were now considering relocating to Pakistan due to it.

On behalf of the manufacturers, he said that incentives such as the cut in import duty on the required raw materials must continue unabated as it would ensure an economic stimulus.
He said the global oil price reduction comes as a mercy at a time when the entire machinery has shifted gear on exploiting the optimum export potential.

Vice President Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zahid Iqbal opined that a lowering of interest rate at 5 percent together with cheaper oil import shall raise future expectations of investors and serve as vantage point for Pakistan in steadily conquering the budding trade gap in GSP Plus backed markets of Europe. “Moreover, it would also make business climate more lucrative for foreign investment in the ongoing pandemic,” he added.

He said that presently effective power houses like USA, UK, China, South Korea and Japan who controlled 65 percent of the manufacturing industry of the world were being in trouble whereas Pakistan still can meet the challenge and can grow its economy.