LCCI wants consultation with SBP governor on budget

LAHORE – While welcoming new man on the hot seat, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has expressed optimism that acting Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Murtaza Syed will initiate consultation with the stakeholders on budget because the time is running out.
“Keeping in view the time constraint, the acting governor would have to visit the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry at the earliest to have feedback on Federal Budget 2022-23”, LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir, Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan and Vice President Haris Ateeq said in a statement.
The LCCI office-bearers said that Dr. Murtaza Syed has assumed charge at a time when the economy is passing through a critical passage. They hoped that the Governor State Bank of Pakistan would evolve new policies to meet the enormous economic challenges being faced by the country. The LCCI office-bearers also invited the attention of the newly appointed governor towards the high markup that is not only creating troubles for industrial concerns but is also making Pakistani goods uncompetitive in the global market.
They said that 12.25% policy rate would have dire consequences on economic growth rate. It will surely hinder the process of industrialization and private sector growth. Pakistan should bring its interest rate at par with the regional rates.
They said that there is a need for urgent measures to bring stability in exchange rate market to stop devaluation as the excessive devaluation has resulted in inflation and increase in cost of doing business of industry. They said that the State Bank should also advocate for urgent tariff measures to restrict luxury and non-essential imports. Furthermore, the option of implementing a currency swap with China from where our imports are more than 13 billion dollars should also be analyzed.
The LCCI office-bearers said that there is a need for a coherent National Economic Policy in which the State Bank, private sector and relevant government departments are all on board. State Bank should share its micro and macroeconomic vision with the business community.
They said that in order to enhance our exports to the untapped potential markets, formal Banking Channels should be established on priority basis. They also requested the State Bank to devise a special mechanism for enhancing barter trade with Iran.

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