ICCI hails Govt’s relief package to cope with Covid-19 virus


ISLAMABAD The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has welcomed the federal government’s relief package announced to cope with the turmoil caused by the outbreak of coronavirus and hoped that it would contribute in mitigating the impact of the current crisis on the country’s poor people and the economy. President ICCI Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that business community was fully supportive of the government’s relief package. However, he said that the relief package announced by the SBP has targeted retail SMEs while industrial units and corporate sector have not been given due attention. He said that due to coronavirus issue, manufacturing activities have come to a halt, but industrialists have to pay markup on loans besides paying wages to idle labor, which was becoming difficult. The ICCI President appealed to Raza Baqir, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan to consider announcing a relief package for industrial units and corporate sector to save them from default. He said that developed countries have announced bailout packages for their SMEs and corporate sectors by freezing their installments of loans and markup. Muhammad Ahmed said that the SBP should also freeze installments of loans and markup for SMEs and corporate sector at least for 6 months to keep them afloat in these difficult circumstances. He hoped that SBP would give sympathetic consideration to this proposal in order to save the economy from falling into further troubles.