Business community demands cut in interest rate

Business community demands cut in interest rate


Small and medium enterprises, cottage industry are under stress: Stone trader

LAHORE – The business community sought immediate government intervention for resolving the issues faced by small and medium enterprises and the cottage industry.

Chairing a meeting, Khadim Hussain, a member board of directors of the Pakistan Stone Development Company, Punjab said that running a business in the prevailing circumstances became an uphill task for cash-strapped companies.

“Instead of taking measures to enable enterprises to continue businesses amid a global economic meltdown, the government is multiplying the sufferings by taking uncalled for decisions like hike in the interest rate etc,” he said.

He also expressed that the businesses are already under immense stress due to high input expenditures, restrictions on the import of raw materials and high inflation. Taking the interest rate to a historic high level of 21 percent will make it challenging for enterprises to handle even day-to-day affairs.

Hussain further said that a large number of industries have already closed down due to the high cost of doing business in the wake of an increase in energy costs, salaries of the workforce and less need for products owing to the reduced buying power of inflation hit consumers”, he said. The government, he urged, should come forward and design a strategy for saving the economy and the businesses after due consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

Mr Hussain, who is also the chief executive officer (CEO) of Hussain Trading Company (HTC), further stressed the need for a downward revision of interest rates and bringing them at par with regional countries like India, China, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to bring borrowing costs in the reach of small enterprises.

The HTC CEO concluded that measures like an increase in markup had failed to control inflation in the past and the same would happen in the future as well if policies were not duly reviewed.