KARACHI: President Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Yakoob H Karim has expressed his satisfaction over reduction in discount rate by State Bank of Pakistan to the tune of 50 basis points.
In a statement on Tuesday, he said that reduction in interest rate was need of the hour, as the industry has become extraordinarily overburdened due to massive input cost. He welcomed the SBP’s policy of downward revision of discount rate.
He said: ““The central bank has taken decision in the right direction. The SBP should also slash the discount under Export Refinance Scheme considering the ease in inflationary trend.” He said: “A significant cut will send a positive message to the investors.
The LCCI chief was of the opinion that in order to revive the economy, the government should pass on the benefits of the latest fall in commodity prices in the international markets, otherwise there would be no major impact of the latest cut on the industry.
Karim said that exporters were the major beneficiary of the rate cut, but the present energy crisis and high prices would militate against any benefit. Due to high energy prices and crisis, around 35 percent of the industrial units have been closed. Industry is in the emergency state and it needs oxygen, he added.
“Due to high cost of business, the current export figures are not encouraging,” he waned and demanded a swift cut in Export Refinance Rate to provide breathing space to the export-oriented industry.