ISLAMABAD - Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt on Tuesday asked the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) not to hide economic weaknesses in its reports as it will damp down its reputation.

He asked the State Bank of Pakistan to present the true picture of the economy and refrain from issuing encouraging statements. The situation on the ground seems very different from what the central bank is trying to portray while the country’s ability to repay debt has been eroded, he said. The statements of the top officials of the bank regarding country’s debt-servicing capacity, remittances, investment and exports are questionable at best, he added.

He said that confidence of the masses and the business community in the central bank is essential for the smooth functioning of the financial system, therefore, responsibility of issuing highly optimistic statements should be left to the politicians. SBP has repeatedly termed fall in exports, remittances and investment as temporary which is contrary to the ground realities, he added.

The central bank has reassured that exports will pick up which is over optimism as assurance will not change the ground realities, he said.

The business leader said that all the sectors that are necessary to boost reserves that include exports, remittances and investments are continue to slide; therefore, the claim of strong debt repayment capacity is amazing.

He said that if the situation continued without any betterment, the country will have to enter another IMF programme to retire debts as record borrowing has strained financial health of the country. He said that the government has failed to find alternatives for increasing its exports for long-term stability in foreign reserves.