FAISALABAD: Rana Sikandar Azam Khan President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) has welcomed one percent cut in state bank’s policy rate from 8 to 7 percent and reiterated his previous demand to fix it at 5 percent so that the businesses affected due to coronavirus may be revived with the availability of cheap loans.
He said that coronavirus has badly affected all businesses and SBP must make arrangements to provide our businessmen with cheap loans so that they could restart and further enhance their production with a renewed vigor and recapture foreign markets as soon as possible.
He told that FCCI has been demanding for the last many years that the policy rate should be fixed at only 5 percent according to the ground reality.
He lamented that the government and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) observed exceptional but unnecessary precautions and reduced the policy rate in phases which consumed many months. He said that the corona pandemic has badly affected our economy which was already in vulnerable condition.
He told that Pakistanis working in other countries have come back and now Pakistan will be unable to get benefit from their remittance in future. “Hence we must double our exports to fill this huge monetary gap of around $20-22 Billion”, he added.
He further said that almost one million SMEs have been closed down due to the corona lockdown. “It will add at least 10 million jobless persons to the already existing three Lac unemployed force”, he said and added that each unemployed person is feeding a family of five members. Thus 15 million people will be directly affected due to the corona triggered unemployment.
He said that unemployment will also affect our overall national productivity and we must switch over to the new and innovative products which will be in high demand by the global markets immediately after the corona spell is over.
He said that in order to make our exportable surplus competitive in global markets, we must cut down our production cost and in this connection SBP has to further reduce policy rate from 7 to 5 percent immediately.
He also demanded that SBP should also further simplify and streamline the disbursal of loans to the SME sector on top priority basis for their immediate revival.