ADDRESSING a news conference, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Reza Baqir expressed complete optimism about the future outlook of the country’s economy saying all short-term indicators show that the stabilization phase has ended and the country’s economy is now firmly in the growth stage.
There is no denying the economy now stands at a far better place than three years ago because of government and State Bank of Pakistan’s prudent decisions.
Especially the way the central bank with Reza Baqir at the helm responded aggressively to the unfolding challenges during Covid-19 and shielded the economy through timely measures is really commendable.
The initiatives included widening the digital landscape through RAAST (an instant and easy payment system).
Especially the launch of Roshan Digital Account facility enabling overseas Pakistanis to seamlessly open online bank and brokerage accounts really helped increase the inflows of foreign exchange into the country.
It will not be wrong to say that the SBP has remained a major pillar of support for preserving jobs and helping business in managing the impact on cash flow arising from the pandemic.
The reduction in interest rate lowered the cost of borrowing for corporates besides enabling them to recover fast from the pandemic impact and become profitable again that helped the economy and stock market to grow.
Other notable measures taken by the central bank included the offer of concessionary loans to the housing and construction sector, hospitals and corporates to help them pay salaries to their staff during the pandemic.
The SBP also contributed in meeting the requirements of the FATF by amending provisions of Anti-Money Laundering, Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Countering Proliferation Financing Regulations.
What really distinguishes the incumbent SBP Governor is that he listens to the stakeholders including bankers and businessmen with an open mind and consults on the emerging issues and challenges with his whole team to come up with possible solutions.
We are confident that he will continue to work with the same spirit and zeal to achieve more milestones for the country.