KARACHI: Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Sunday expressed concern over rapid erosion in exchange rate terming it against the national interests.

Government should take all the steps required to stem fall in value of rupee including measures to stop smuggling of currency, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.

In a statement issued here he said that recent hike in value of dollar has unnerved the importers and the business community as it will result in inflation while the foreign loans have surged by almost 2.5 billion dollars.

He said that increased value of dollar will escalate cost of everything and make costly all the projects currently under different stages of completion.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that the devaluation of currency will increase oil import bill to an extent that it will counterbalance any gains by the export sector.

He said that fall in value of rupee versus dollar is unfortunate which will take toll on the masses as imports are almost double to the exports. It will damage masses by making imports costly and stoking inflation.

Devaluation of rupee will not support the exports as expected therefore the export industries should focus on cost reduction, skill development, value addition and up-gradation, he added.

Export sector has been addicted to subsidies, tax breaks, bailouts, and currency devaluation and the recent development will deprive them of incentive to upgrade machinery, improve quality and find new markets, he said.