SCCI demands to bring down the interest rate to single digit

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: President, Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Muhammad Ishaq expressed grave concern over retaining policy rate at high level and described the current highly interest rate is extremely detrimental for business and industrial growth and national economy.

Business, trade and industrial activities have already been stagnated whereas country’s economy is also on brink of destruction so that the current high interest rate needed to bring down from currently 18 per cent to single digit while keeping view the prevailing scenario, says Ishaq while chairing a meeting of industrialists here at the chamber’s house on Monday.

Meeting was attended by the SCCI’s senior vice president Shahid Hussain, vice president Ejaz Khan Afridi, former senior vice president Imran Khan Mohmand and others.

Ishaq strongly opposed the fixed charge, saying that high power tariff was a major cause of sluggish growth in business and industries, demanding the fixation of electricity charges as per previous maximum demand indicators (MDIs) policy, because the high prices aren’t beneficial for industries and businesses.

The SCCI’s chief noted that high policy rate is being caused by hampering business and industrial activities, consequently cost of industrial production has escalated rampantly owing to which, price-hike has increased on daily basis which has miserably hit poor segments of the society.

While commenting on the current state of the national economy, Ishaq criticized the present government for non-seriousness toward putting the economy on the right direction as industries and businesses were halting in the country that has triggered massive unemployment.

The chamber president observed it has been witnessing that industries are hardly running under 10 to 15 per cent capacity. So, he questioned: “how stability can be brought in the national economy in current circumstances?

Linking the economic revival with political stability, Ishaq clarified that when the economy will exist then political survival will be made possible.

Therefore, he urged the government and state bank of Pakistan (SBP) to bring down the interest rate from 18 per cent to single digit and take proactive measures for giving relief, incentives and facilities to the business community.