RAWALPINDI          -     Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has urged the government to lower the interest rate as it had increased the credit cost of commercial banks which is badly affecting the growth of industrial activities and added more difficulties for the small and medium enterprise (SME).

RCCI President Saboor Malik, in a statement on Sunday, said that the monetary policy should be based on ground realities and all the stakeholders must be taken on board while formulating the policy. He said that the sharp increase in interest rate had discouraged the investors from considering Pakistan for investment and badly affected investment in different projects.

He said that Pakistan needed quick revival of business and industrial activities to improve the health of the economy, the current rate of interest rate, and 13.25 percent had made the cost of credit unaffordable for business community and badly affected their efforts for promoting business activities.

The government recent data shows that trade deficit has sharply declined, almost 35 percent in last quarter, this has given a huge breathing space and SBP should revise the interest rate here, he suggested.

He asked Advisor on Finance, Revenue Dr Hafiz Sheikh to review the SBP monetary policy and must hold a meeting with the business leaders to discuss and devise a new strategy for steering the economy out of current troubles.

He said that Pakistan economy is facing huge challenge of export fall, contraction in Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM), unemployment, lack of infrastructure and impediments in taxation. The sharp decline in low interest can re-energize the industrial wheel, he added. Lower interest rate will also ease the pressure on Government to make its key projects like Kamyab Nojwaan and Ehsaas, he further added.