Currency devaluation, interest rate hike to hit economy: Bilour

Staff Reporter

Islamabad

President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Ghazanfar Bilour strongly criticizing the double whammy of the currency devaluation and interest rate hike has termed it devastating setback for the troubled economy.
In a statement issued here on Saturday, Ghazanfar Bilour expressed serious reservations over rupee devaluation and an upsurge in the interest rate to ten percent which will trigger inflation, increase the cost of doing business, hit production and push up anxiety among businessmen.
He said that doing business in the country was becoming difficult by the passage of every day while interest rate hike and weakening of the local currency would send negative signals.
The business leader said that rupee has experience largest single-day plunge in almost a decade while will result in economic distress that will last for several years like witnessed in the past. It will increase the debt burden and jack up the cost of all developmental projects, he added.
Largest currency devaluation in intra-day trading would have negative economic implications, it will make imports costlier while it will give little benefit to the export sector, the FPCCI president stated.
Ghazanfar Bilour said that interest rate hike would discourage private sector borrowings, hamper industrial production, and increase unemployment.
The decision of the authorities would neither help curtail fiscal deficit nor control inflation as such experiences have failed in the past, he said, adding that government should stop further devaluation and bring down the interest rate before it’s too late.
The government must ensure consistency in its economic policies otherwise the results would be devastating for the economy which will never return to health, he demanded.
Ghazanfar Bilour said that vague and contradicting statements, misdirected steps and the inability of the government to decide the future’s line of action will further damage the economy and hit its popularity.

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