FPCCI advises central bank to bring down interest rate to 5 percent

KARACHI: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has advised the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to bring down the key policy rate at 5 percent considering the prevailing situation due to coronavirus.

FPCCI president Mian Anjum Nisar on Friday appreciated the SBP for slashing key policy rate by 100 basis points to 7 percent in an unscheduled meeting of Monetary Policy Committee which has so far slashed the key interest rate by 6.25 percent from 13.25 percent since March 17, 2020.

He said the rate cut is a welcome move, but only 100bps (basis points) cut is not enough. In the prevailing circumstances, interest rate at 7 percent is not feasible for the businesses, he said.

“FPCCI hopes the central bank will consider the plights of the business community and rates would be brought to 5 percent soon,” he added.

He said that the businessmen’s apex body welcomes the central bank’s move to cut the interest rates by 1 percent, urging it to bring discount rate to at least 5 percent in line with global financial trend.

“This is commendable step of the State Bank, as it has now started shifting toward supporting trade and industrial growth and employment generation which is not possible without sizeable cut in key policy rate,” he added. He said that the banks should now also be advised to follow the lines of SBP immediately accordingly.

“The banks should be instructed to revise KIBOR on a monthly basis instead of quarterly basis to pass on the benefit of lower rates speedily to the trade and industry, which are struggling to survive, Mian Anjum Nisar suggested and added that the impact on banks on their deposits will be insignificant.

FPCCI President said that the reduction in policy rate by 6.25 percent since March 17, 2020 is commendable step of the government in the present situation that will positively affect cost of doing business and will encourage the investors and industrialists to make new investment in the country.

The president FPCCI also said that the pandemic COVID-19 has affected the global economy and pushed to the depression resulting contraction in the economic activities and a threat to unemployment.

He asked the SBP to go the extra mile in these arduous times and leave no stone unturned in providing relief to the financially distressed businesses.

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