FPCCI praises SBP for timely action to avert coronavirus impact

KARACHI: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has praised State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for timely action to minimize adverse impact of coronavirus on trade and industry, a statement said on Monday.

“However, implementation of such measures is required to reach at the grass root level,” said Khurram Ijaz, Vice President, FPCCI, while chairing webinar on ‘Implications of Covid-19 on the Financial Market/Institutions of Pakistan.’

He said that outbreak of Coronavirus has not only affected the trade and industry of Pakistan, but drastically declined the performance of the financial market and major economic indicators in the economy.

During discussing, Arjumand Qazi, Group Head (SME)- Pak Brunei Investment said that SBP has indeed extended maximum support to the trade and industry in term of designing and announcing effective financing schemes since April 2020.

However, commercial banks and other financial institutions are still reluctant to extend such facilities to rural businesses.

Khurram Shehzad renowned financial expert appreciated SBP’s measure to decrease the interest rate from 13 percent to almost 7 percent in last 6 months.

He said that it is high time that commercial banks, investment companies and other stakeholders of the financial market play their part in the economic and financial survival of the economy.

Hasan Raza, Head of Project Management in Research Dept. Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) said that Pakistan Stock Exchange fell down to 27000 index point in February 2020 at the start of the lockdown, but with the efforts of PSX, the KSE index point has reached upto 40,000 index point in August 2020.

He further shared information regarding newly launched mutual funds and new Sukuk bonds in 2020.

While expressing his views, Zubair Haider Sheikh, Head of Cooperate & Investment Banking-Dubai Islamic Bank said that as the country is moving back to normal activities amid ease of lockdown in the economy, the commercial banks must come upfront to expand Temporary Economic Refinance Facility (TERF) as well as long term financing schemes to the masses.

Ahsan Mahenti, Managing Director, Arif Habib Commodities while appreciating SBP’s initiatives to fight the financial losses bared by the business during lockdown however, there is still need of incentive driven policies to support the corporate sector as well.

Participants of the webinar included Ali Kamal, Head of Research National Investment Trust (NIT), Imran Khali, Chairman Pak-Maldives Business Councils of FPCCI, Shabbir Mansha, Convener FPCCI Standing Committee on Custom Affairs, Amber Paracha Head of Credit Risk Management of Pak-Brunei Investment, members Trade Bodies and prominent members of FPCCI appreciated the initiative by FPCCI for conducting such informative seminars on various topics economic issues highlighting the problems and solutions which is highly commendable.

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