Traders appreciate cut in interest rate

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LAHORE: State Bank of Pakistanís decision to cut the interest rate by 0.5 percent has been hailed by the trade and industry sector on Friday. In a statement, the President Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Farooq Iftikhar said the Governor of the State Bank deserves appreciation for bringing down the interest rate to 9 per cent from 9.5 per cent. But Iftikhar also called for measures to make the interest rate cut meaningful and result oriented.

He said if other economic factors were not taken into account, they would continue to create problems for the economy in general and for the private sector in particular. Iftikhar hoped that in the upcoming monetary policy, the interest rates would further be lowered to 8 per cent. The LCCI president urged the Governor State Bank of Pakistan to review all other economy related banking policies and facilitate the private sector which is - according to him - the engine of economic growth.

Chairman All Pakistan Contractors Association Akber Shaikh said that the lowering of interest rate is a good step but the prevailing low inflation warranted a cut of 100 basis points. He said now it is the duty of the government to reduce borrowing from the commercial banks to spare liquidity for the private sector. Acting Chairman Pakistan Association of Industrial Traders Front Khamis Saeed Butt said that Finance Minister had expressed the hope that the central bank would cut the interest rate. He said the business community was expecting a cut of 1 to 1.5 percent but the reduction was only 0.5 percent. He said the rate of 9 percent is still the highest in the region.

Courtesy: †The News

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