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KARACHI: Pointing out that interest rates in Pakistan are the highest in the region, President of the Site Association of Industry (SAI), Karachi, Abdul Rashid has urged the Governor of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Dr Reza Baqir to immediately withdraw the recent hike in key policy rate by 2.5 percent.

The SAI chief on Saturday called for review of the decision in the best interest of the economy so that trade and industry could be saved from collapse. The country needed stability in the current political crisis.

He said the central bank’s step of increasing the policy rate by 2.5 percent had caused serious concerns among members of the business community and they feared that such unwise decisions would ruin trade as well as industry.

The SAI president said that after the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was very difficult for trade and industry to get back on their feet, but recklessness on the part of decision-makers and the anti-business and anti-trade measures of government agencies had again put the survival of businesses and industries in jeopardy.

Mr Rashid said that the continuous devaluation of the rupee had greatly increased the cost of raw materials and now with the interest rates at an all-time high of 12.25 percent, the cost of production would rise to unsustainable levels.

He requested the SBP governor to reconsider the decision to raise the interest rates in the best interest of the economy, adopt a strategy of gradually bringing interest rates to single digits, and also avoid imposing further burdens on trade and industry.

He was of the opinion that in the current political situation and economic crises, the country could not afford anti-economy measures.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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