ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the 100 basis point cut in policy rate to bring it down from 8% to 7% and termed it a positive initiative as it will decrease cost of doing business, encourage new investment and spur better economic growth in the country.
Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said after the recent recession, many countries made drastic cuts in policy rates to restore economic activities. However, credit cost for private sector in Pakistan mostly remained high due to high discount rates, which was a major constraint for growth of business activities.
He said cutting policy rate to 7% will prove beneficial for the economy as it will decrease input cost of businesses and facilitate easy credit availability to private sector. He said SBP should also ensure that banks should focus on private sector lending because first requirement for the policy rate to be effective was that credit should predominantly be utilized by the private sector for boosting business activities.
He said banks’ lending to private sector decreased by over 36% during the first nine months of current financial year as businessesreceived only Rs.178.8 billion credit from July 2014 to April 2015 as compared to Rs.281.9 billion during the same period of last year. However, he was hopeful that with historic cut in policy, the private sector credit will pick up pace that will help in triggering the expansion of current businessesas well as attraction of new investment.
Muzzamil Sabrisaid Pakistan’s industrial sector was in urgent need of balancing, modernization and replacement of machinery & technology to produce quality products at par with international standards and added that cut in interest will help them in upgrading technology and machinery.
said the large-scale manufacturing sector, which grew 2.2% during the first seven months of 2014-15, will also accelerate its growth due to the rate cut and low prices of raw materials. He,however, stressed that along with cutting the interest rate, the SBP should also ensure that banks increase their lending to the SMEs, which are the real engines of economic growth. DNA