Interest rate: Business community urges SBP to do more
ISLAMABAD: Business community here on Friday hailed the fresh move of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to reduce interest rate by another one percent and urged the government to further slash it down to 5 percent yo 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 (SAARC CCI) President designate Iftikhar Ali Malik urged the SBP to further cut policy rate for easy access to the finance of 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 and rebate, waiver of mark-up in export refinancing and relaxation in the 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 the government's resolve to contain the spread of coronavirus 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.
Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President Zahid Iqbal opined that 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 the 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 could meet the challenge and grow its economy.
Zahid Iqbal also urged the SBP to draft a separate policy for micro and small enterprises to enable them to keep their workforce, survive in current critical conditions and sustain in the long term. - APP