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The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has criticised the statement of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir in which the central bank chief said the eroding value of the rupee was benefiting overseas Pakistanis.

Terming the SBP governor's remarks as “insensitive, irresponsible and fictitious”, FPCCI President Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo also called for the resignation of Dr Baqir.

He said that the business, industry, and trading community of Pakistan demands a better, more competent and responsible leadership at the helm of the affairs at SBP, read an FPCCI statement.

Overseas Pakistanis have benefitted from rupee depreciation: Dr Reza Baqir

"Now we know why the rupee has lost so much value in such a short span of time; as the leadership at the SBP has exposed itself through irresponsible statements and poor performance in maintaining the exchange rate," said Maggo.

The FPCCI chief said that there is no economic sense and justification in the statement that Pakistan has gained around $3 billion due to recent depreciation in PKR. He added that the ground realities are diametrically opposite than that of the assertions made by the SBP chief.

The reaction comes after Dr Baqir, looking to point out the positive in a briefing in Manchester, said that PKR depreciation benefits overseas Pakistanis, who provide Pakistan with billions of dollars as remittances.

While talking to media persons in Manchester, the ex-IMF official said any economic policy benefits one section over the other.

"Rising dollar rates benefit some people and harm others. Overseas Pakistanis benefit because their family members receive more remittances. We should not forget those who benefit,” the SBP chief official had said.

Depreciation woes: Pakistan's rupee closes at 174 against US dollar

The statement has not sat well in the country as many experts including economists have criticised the central bank governor for his remarks.

Meanwhile, Maggo emphasised that the monetary policy should be devised in a manner to promote economic growth and bring stability in the economic indicators.

Nasir Khan, Vice President FPCCI, said that the unrelenting depreciating exchange rate is harming Pakistani society and the economy. "This is unsustainable and the Prime Minister should intervene – in the larger national interest – immediately to arrest the slide in the value of PKR."

He said that instead of making lame excuses, the government must address domestic and imported inflation through its monetary and fiscal policies.

The PKR has lost 12.5% of its value against the greenback since its recent high in May. It has depreciated by 9.5% during the ongoing fiscal year, and 8.15% during the calendar year.

Pakistan's rupee closes near 174 as depreciation continues

Maggo also demanded an inquiry into the conduct of SBP in recommending sweeping tax concessions for non-resident companies to attract investments in government debt at very high rates to favour certain foreign commercial banks.


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