Islamabad, March 24, 2020 (PPI-OT): Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to immediately reduce policy interest rate to 5 percent in order to save businesses from the negative impact of coronavirus. He said that due to spread of coronavirus, all shopping malls and business centres are being closed down in major cities due to which business activities are suffering badly. He said that the best option for the government to provide relief to businesses is to cut interest rate to 5 percent to cope with the situation emerging after coronavirus.
Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that imported raw material of many industrial units of millions of rupees is stuck up at Karachi port as transport is not available due to lockdown. He said that industrialists have paid duties of imported raw material, but it has become difficult for them to pay mark up of banks due to halt in money circulation. In these circumstances, government should cut down interest rate to 5 percent and allow business community to pay reduced mark up in instalments so that they could survive in these tough times, he added.
Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that cutting down interest rate to 5 percent will revive business activities and encourage investment in the country. He said that due to impact of coronavirus, US, Canada, UK, China and many other countries have made drastic cut in interest rates, but SBP has reduced policy interest rate by only 75 basis points which is very negligible.
ICCI President further said that till the time the coronavirus issue is tackled, government should defer receipt of electricity and gas bills and banks mark up from the businesses so that they could be able to survive in these difficult times. He said that business community is standing with the government in this crisis situation and will not allow increase in the prices of food items so that people may not face any problems on this account. He said that in cooperation with the business community of Islamabad, a fund is being created to provide necessary relief to the labour class and daily wagers so that they could be provided necessary support in this difficult situation.
Tahir Abbasi Senior Vice President and Saif ur Rehman Vice President ICCI said that oil prices in international market have come down to historical low level, but the government has not passed on their benefit to the general public. He urged that government should pass on the full benefit of reduced oil prices to the general public without further delay that would reduce inflation and bring down cost of doing business as well. He also stressed that in the prevailing circumstances, IMF should either waive off Pakistan’s debt or reschedule it for long-term period to enable our country to save its economy from further problems.
For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-2250526, 2253145, 8432676
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org