Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Reza Baqir on Thursday gave good news of remarkable decline inflation and in interested rate in the country from the upcoming months. Addressing the CEO Summit in Karachi, Reza Baqir said, “With a decline in inflation, its affects on the market will also be witnessed in the days to come.”
The interest rate would also reciprocate with declining inflation and would also go down in the coming days, he added. “We are hoping for an improvement in the situation ahead as the situation has witnessed a turnaround from the past,” the Governor SBP said adding that currently the foreign reserves are witnessing a surge along with the stability in the rupee value.
He said that now no one could predict an increase in dollar rate. “Our current account deficit and financial debts have also witnessed a decline,” he said and added that the number of challenges faced by the economy has decreased. Reza Baqir further said that with the current improving situation, no one could say that the country is going towards default.
State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir has said that only 15 per cent of the adult female population of the country possesses active bank accounts. This a major challenge before the State Bank as this national rate is even lower than the South Asian average which is 65 per cent. The State Bank governor stated this on Thursday in his keynote address at the “CEO Summit Asia 2020” organized by CEO Club Pakistan and Management House here at a hotel. Those others who also spoke at the summit include Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Andleeb Abbas, Founder of CEO Club Pakistan Ijaz Nisar, Karachi Port Trust Chairman Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar, Pakistan Stock Exchange Chairman Sulaiman S Mehdi, Sindh Bank President Imran Samad,Arif Habib – Chairman & CEO, Arif Habib Corporation, Dr Omar Chughtai, Raza Pirbahi, Sulana Siddiqui, Dr Amjad Waheed, former Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair, Dr Imran Y Muhammad, PM’s TasK Force on Housing Chairman Zaigham Rizvi, Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, FPCCI President Mian Anjum Nisar, Umair Azam, Farid Alam, and others also spoke on the occasion.
State Bank Govenor Dr Baqir said the big question whose answer had to be ascertained was that why there was so phenomenal difference between percentage of Pakistani adult female population having active bank accounts and the South Asian average of the same account. He said that such difference in ratio of female adult population having active bank accounts should not exist when South Asian countries were quite similar in cultural and other aspects. He said that one of the strategies being used by the State Bank to address this issue was promotion of entrepreneurship among female population of the country.
He said that another area being focused by the State Bank was introduction of electronic and digital means in the country to do money transactions to do trade as for this cause soon a platform would be launched in the form of micro payment gateway. He said that launching of this new platform would put Pakistan prominently on the map of the countries having advanced systems of electronic and digital means of money transactions to do business. He said that State Bank had been actively supporting growth of the small and medium enterprises in the country for the sake of national economic growth.
He said the State Bank would make sure that the SMEs got financing from banks in the country. He urged the chambers of commerce and industry in the country to play their due part to promote SMEs. He said that exports of the country grew by 4.5 per cent in the first half of the current financial year showing steady growth of the economy.
He said that during the same period India’s exports grew by -2.3 per cent, that of Thailand by -2.5 per cent, Sri Lank by -3.6 per cent, Indonesia -5 per cent, Malaysia -6 per cent, and exports of Bangladesh grew by -7 per cent in the same period. He said that Pakistan had increased its exports recently in contrast to the negative export growth of several regional countries, which were considered as export powerhouses.
The State Bank governor expressed firm optimism that businesses of the country had a very bright future in front of them. He said that on the growth front the country had started receiving the preliminary signs of the economic turnaround. He said that sales of cement, imports of machinery, and large scale manufacturing were the three economic sectors whose recent statistics proved the notion that the national economy had started growing.“We can say with confidence that we have put the worst behind us,” he said.
He conceded that public sector had to do a lot to bring reforms in its working to support the growth of the private sector.He also conceded that State Bank had to do much more for growth of the economy and export. Also addressing the summit, former chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General (retd) Zubair Mahmood Hayat said that Pakistan’s conduct had always improved whenever the country had to face major challenges. He said that the strategic decisions taken by Pakistan created effects for the entire region. He said that recently visiting Secretary General of the UNO had praised role of Pakistan in peacekeeping in the conflict regions of the world.