Remarkable decline in interest rates expected: FPCCI President

Mian Anjum Nisar

KARACHI: President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Mian Anjum Nisar has said that a remarkable decline in interest rates and reduction in duties on raw materials was expected to further spur economic activities in the current fiscal year.

 FPCCI President said that the positive growth in large-scale manufacturing (LSM) will help achieve the annual economic growth target, besides creating jobs if the trend continues in the coming months. 

Anjum Nisar while addressing a delegation of various industrial sectors, said that the LSM output had grown 7.65 percent in September, besides reporting a growth of 4.8 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

The positive growth rate of the industry had given a ray of hope for the revival of economic activities in the country, also stressing that the date of October 2020 might be critical to sustaining the momentum of industrial production during the second wave of the pandemic in the country, he added. 

He said that in the year 2019-20, the LSM output had fallen by 10.17 percent which was alarming.  “For the current fiscal year, the government has set the economic growth target at 2.1 percent, which will be better in the current economic situation but is not enough to create jobs for a growing population,” he commented. 

The FPCCI president said that the growth had now broken a cycle of constant contraction in the past over one year.  He further said that large businesses had been bearing the brunt of very high-interest rates, issues related to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and high energy prices.  

FPCCI chief called for out-of-the-box solutions for economic growth, as COVID-19 has adversely impacted the world’s economy as well as Pakistan’s trade and industrial sectors.  

He said the government had already missed its annual export target for the first two years. For the current fiscal year, the export target was reset at $27.7 billion, requiring at least 6 percent growth.