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KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has demanded the appointment of a central bank governor within 48 hours, and to curb the powers of commercial banks to address the rupee devaluation issue.

Terming the sharp depreciation of the rupee as a threat to national security at a press conference at Federation House, FPCCI President Irfan Iqbal Shaikh expressed serious concerns over the rupee devaluation, saying that a scenario like Sri Lanka might emerge if the measures were not taken on war-footing basis.

He said that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was unable to continue the free-floating exchange rate; adding that the trade deficit has reached a record level of US$48.66 billion dollars in the financial year 2022 as compared to US$ 30.96 billion dollars in FY21, depicting an increase of 57% in FY22.

“The government should use all means to curb uncertainty, chaos, and rumours in the markets”, the FPCCI president said, urging the government to announce the date of the expected arrival of dollars to nullify the speculation of further rupee devaluation.

He said that the government should immediately appoint the governor of SBP in the next 48 hours, curbing the powers of commercial banks with the restriction of speculating rupee devaluation.

Moreover, Irfan Iqbal said that the government should fix the dollar rate for the next 15 days and set up the Economic Disaster Management like NCOC as the cost of raw materials had increased manifold, creating immense difficulties to run the industries and added that if the existing situation prevailed, there could be a shortage of petroleum and food and drink commodities in the country.

FPCCI former president Nasir Hayat and other members were of the view that the next 15 days were very important for the economy of Pakistan and the situation would get worsen if the importers did not get the raw materials.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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