(March 18, 2020)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said the slight reduction in the interest rates by the central bank has left the business community disappointed. A 0.75 percent reduction in the policy rate against expectations of three percent cut is a joke which has frustrated the business community, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Prime Minister Imran Khan should immediately take note of the situation and take corrective measures at the current interest rate will never allow the economy to come out of recession.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that dozens of countries have reduced interest rates substantially to combat coronavirus and stimulate the economy but nothing of the sort has been done in Pakistan.
The former minister noted that central bank has taken the economy as a hostage while its desire to attract hot money is damaging the productive sector, jobs and revenue. The actions of the State Bank is leading to massive bankruptcies while many are losing their jobs which should be noticed, he demanded.
He said that the government is trying to enhance exports and the SBP is choking economic activities while the monetary policy committee of the central bank seems unconcerned with the international and local developments.
He said that oil price collapse and reduction in the prices of most of the commodities that are imported has allowed saving at least ten billion dollars in the import bill, therefore, it should allow relief to the masses.
He noted that SBP has announced soft loans for establishing new industries without realizing that it is closing down the established industrial sector. The high interest rate will add to the miseries of the masses which should be reconsidered he said.