LAHORE: The Friends of Business and Economic Reforms (FEBR) president Kashif Anwar expressed deep concern over uncalled for increase of 250 basis point in the policy rate and the abnormal surge in dollar prices, making the things more complex for both trade and industry.
He said this while talking to reporters here Thursday in a meeting held.
The FEBR president said that easy access to the the finances was a requisite for coping with the instable economic condition.
“Due to the shortage of funds, doing business has become next to impossible for the the businesses and the worse is that policy rate has been increased by 250 basis points further aggravating doing-business-atmosphere”.
He said that trade and industry are the backbone of economy of the country and in such circumstances when the businesses are struggling to recover from the wounds inflicted by Covid-19, the hefty increase in the money prices is unwarranted for.
At the present the government is required to re-consider the decision of increasing the policy rate that too by 250 basis points or intensive unemployment, steep rise in inflation, reduction in business activity can further weaken the fragile economy.
While talking about the unpresedented dollar flight, he suggested that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) immediately intervene to control hike in the dollar prices.
“Inter-bank US Dollar rate is ringing alarming bells and calling for immediate attention of State Bank of Pakistan to avoid economic crisis”, he said adding that the dollar is crushing Pak rupee will add to inflation, trade and industry activities, hitting the economy hard.
He said that the recent surge in the prices of the greenback would jackup the input cost for export-oriented industries .
The FEBR president said that the State Bank of Pakistan needs to ascertain the factors weakening the value of rupee and check the possibilities of undue speculations and malpractices in the operation of foreign exchange markets in Pakistan.
This way only the abnormal hike in the prices of dollar can be come over restoring confidence of the business community, he believed.
He said that an unchecked increase in the dollar rates is multiplying the cost of doing business and badly affecting the industrial, manufacturing and agriculture sectors as Pakistan has to import fertilizers, food items, oil, machinery and industrial raw material.
“The government should take immediate measures to control devaluation of rupee to avoid more damages to the economy,” he demanded explaining that the economy has already been facing intense internal and external challenges for the last many years.
Rising cost of doing business and heavy government borrowing have already been worrisome for the economy and the further fall in rupee value and hike in the policy rate are no way rational, the FEBR president conclude