Uncertainty prevails in market despite SBP assurance on interest rates Investors expect central bank to raise interest rates again soon Electricity tariff is being further increased:

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(December 17, 2021)

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said despite the central bank’s announcement not to raise interest rates immediately the business community is worried about another hike.

The worries of investors despite assurance of the SBP are detrimental to the central bank’s reputation, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that investors expect SBP to raise interest rates again soon as the economic indicators worsen.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that uncertainty in the market is detrimental to the economy which should be tackled by the concerned officials.

He said that the assurances of the central bank have not calmed the market and majority of investors believe that interest rates will be raised soon as a result of pressure from the IMF while some investors are still unsure about the IMF tranche.

A section of the business community is uncertain about the implementation of the agreement with the lender and is looking at the matter with disbelief as they believe that in view of the elections, the government will not stop the policy to economic growth and pursue a policy of stabilization.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the government is preparing to increase the base tariff of electricity by 95 paisa per unit in the light of agreements with international organizations which will further affect the living standards of the people.

Costly electricity will also affect business activities and exports will have to face a negative effect.

In addition to the general consumers and the business community, electricity rates for the agricultural sector will also be increased, which will make agricultural products more expensive.

The increase in electricity tariffs will place an additional burden of billions of rupees on the people in addition to the upcoming mini-budget.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the mini budget would not only increase inflation but also further devalue the rupee in the current global scenario.

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