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KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain has said the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) buoyed the sinking economy amid Covid pandemic.

Governor SBP Reza Baqir should take more steps to boost the economy and push up the growth rate to five percent by the next fiscal, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the SBP supported the masses and businesses amid pandemic for which the governor SBP deserves credit.

He said that hundreds of billions were spent on relief while lockdown, travel restrictions, etc resulted in unprecedented growth in remittances which pushed the current account into surplus.

Following the pandemic, the central bank reduced interest rates from 13.25 percent to 7 percent, loans were relaxed, Rs 300 billion were given to industrialists on soft terms resulting in economic revival within six months.

He said that the SBP initiatives benefitted 3331 companies and 1.8 million workers were paid however the majority of SMEs were left behind which were not registered.

The central bank also supported import of plant and machinery helping exporters and textile sector while the overall loans didn’t increase as compared to other countries.

He said that the business community hoped that the government and central bank will work proactively to tackle the issues of loans, deficit, and expenses so that the economy can prosper at a faster pace.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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