Business community hails SBP for reducing interest rate, urges to slash it down to 5%
ISLAMABAD: Business and industrial community here on Saturday hailed the initiative of the State Bank of Pakistan to reduce policy rate by 2 percent and urged the government to further slash it down to 5 percent to offset gradually the negative impact of coronavirus.
They also urged the government to announce another incentive package for the revival small and medium sized Industry which was playing a vital role in national economy building employment generation.
In press statement 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 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.
Iftikhar Malik 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. - APP