Industry calls for urgent cut in interest rate.

KARACHI -- Rejecting the interest rate hike to a 25-year high at 17pc, the trade and industry on Tuesday termed the State Bank of Pakistan's move as 'anti-business and anti-growth.'

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said the business community was in shock and clueless as to how they would cope with its fallout on economic activities, the viability of doing business and its inevitable adverse impacts on exports.

He said the current wave of inflation is in no way a demand-pull phenomenon but, by all indicators, it is a demand-push phenomenon.

What the businessmen needed at the moment was an expansionary monetary policy but, yet again, the SBP has given a contractionary monetary policy.

Mr Irfan said Pakistan would not be able to compete with the regional markets if the interest rates, especially for export refinancing, are not decreased drastically.

High cost of production amid a volatile rupee-dollar parity, uncertainty in the political and economic environment and high-interest rate would further dampen overall business activities and crush small and medium enterprises, the FPCCI chief warned.

He said if the government does not interfere immediately, there would be a lot of bankruptcies, while...

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