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PBIF supports SBP policy rate decision; suggests steps to revive economy

ISLAMABAD: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday supported the SBP decision to cut policy rates by one percent, the lowest in 42 years to spur growth. The decision will infuse confidence in the business community and propel economy which was hostage to the past policy of austerity, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the decision reflects coordination among important institutions but reduction in interest rate will not serve the purpose unless the pace of reforms is increased. He called for supporting large scale manufacturing and credit to the private sector which is sliding, stopping flight of capital, improving tax machinery and curbing speculation of different sectors.

The veteran business leader said that economy is improving which has won confidence of international institutions while inflation has been subdued. However, government should observe restraint while getting loans from commercial banks and improve governance to ensure 4.5 percent growth in the next year which would be highest in the last eight years, he said

Out of 200 potential taxpayers only one submits return which forces government to impose indirect taxes hurting vulnerable and seek foreign assistance to balance the budget, he noted.

Mian Zahid said that extra attention to improve sentiments of the business community will convince many to invest in Pakistan relieving country of foreign loans as Pakistanis invested over 4.25 billion dollars in the Dubai real estate sector in the last two years which could have utilised to help the country overcome chronic problems.

He said that some quarters have been criticising the SBP decision citing reduction in the profit rates of depositors who are overlooking the factor that economic revival is linked to agriculture and industry not savings.

Pak-China corridor has attracted attention and confidence of international investors therefore the project should be completed on the earliest without allowing controversies to hurt it, he demanded.

INP

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