ICCI hails 100 basis points cut in policy interest rate by SBP

Islamabad, June 26, 2020 (PPI-OT): The business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has hailed the decision of SBP to make 100 basis points cut in policy interest rate and termed it a positive development that would help in addressing the economic slowdown of the country due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that SBP has taken a wise decision by making 1 percent cut in policy interest rate to bring it down to 7 percent. However, he said that the interest rate in Pakistan was still the highest in the region as the interest rate in China was 3.85% and India 4% due to which it was difficult for Pakistani entrepreneurs to compete effectively with regional countries for exports. He said a low interest rate was the key requirement to spur business and economic activities and stressed that SBP should bring interest rate down to below 4% that would help businesses and industrial units in revival and growth leading to turning around the downward slide of the economy.

ICCI President further emphasized that SBP should issue a notification to commercial banks to immediately pass on the benefit of the latest reduction in interest to end consumers that would provide them great relief in these difficult times. He said that normally banks take time to give benefit of reduced interest to their consumers and SBP should play a role in providing this relief down to the end consumers on an immediate basis. For this purpose, commercial banks should further be directed to reduce their mark up for those consumers who have taken loans from banks for purchasing consumer products.

Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that due to Covid-19 pandemic, businesses and industrial units have suffered huge losses and many were on the verge of permanent closure and government should come forward to enable them for smooth sailing. He said that the government has taken some good decisions to provide relief in payment of electricity bills to small businesses and arrange loans for businesses on low interest rates under the Rozgar Scheme. However, he emphasized that SBP should also engage with commercial banks to convince them to defer receipt of loans with markup from businesses for at least one quarter so that businessmen could be able to revive business activities and pay back the outstanding loans with markup.

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
Fax: +92-51-2252950
Email: icci@brain.net.pk, info@icci.com.pk
Website: www.icci.com.pk

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