Islamabad: Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Sunday said the recently announced tight monetary policy will provide some breathing space to the cash-strapped government but make life difficult for masses and the business community.
The second upward revision in the policy rate indicate the challenges economy is facing since some time, it said.
Increased interest rates will not improve the confidence of investors or strengthen local currency but it will subdue demand which will reduce the pace of erosion of forex reserves, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.
The hike will also hit mega projects, manufacturing and the GDP while the forex reserves currently at the level of 10 billion dollars and rupee which has been eroded by 9.3 percent in five months will remain under pressure, he added.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said that government will need billions of dollars to avoid a balance of payments crisis as the twin deficits are getting out of control nullifying gains made in exports and remittances.
Hike in oil prices and unabated imports will increase import bill and the deficit which needs to be tackled by the economic managers.
The business community on Saturday rejected the State Bank of Pakistan’s decision of increasing its policy rate by 50 basis points to 6.5 percent, lifting it to a level of three-year high.
He noted that some optimistic business circles were expecting a reduction in interest rate to control adverse effects of the recession but the upward revision in lending rate has disappointed them.
It would result in high inflation and increased the cost of production that would further paralyse the industrial sector, he said.
Deficits continue to threaten the economy while clouds have emerged on the economic horizon and in this scenario the growth target of 6.2 percent for the next year seems difficult.

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