KARACHI, (PR): While appreciating the State Bank of Pakistan move to slash its benchmark interest rate by 1.5% from 12% to 10.5% for the next two months, M. Jawed Bilwani, Chairman, Pakistan Apparel Forum stated that while this step would benefit some sectors, specially the stock sector. However, its impact would be limited and will not benefit the major sector of our economy the “manufacturing sector” including the Value Added Textile Sector which not only has the potential to earn huge amount foreign exchange for the nation but also to keep lawlessness checked by generating the largest employment – almost over 42% of the total employment both of male and female workers. Further this is the sector which can properly balanced the trade deficit. He expressed his surprise as to how notable Trade Leaders who are themselves manufacturers, are praising this cut in the interest rate?
This major sector – the backbone of our nation’s economy is fraught with a host of serious problems such as severest ever load shedding coupled with load fluctuations, poor and miserable infrastructure, acute liquidity crunch with held up DLTL, Sales Tax and Customs Refund Claims etc. and therefore the Government should take bold and immediate steps to provide relief to this most harassed sector.
He proposed that the State Bank of Pakistan should aim to reduce markup rate
on the Export Finance Scheme (EFS) to 5% as declared in the Textile Policy 2009-14. Furthermore it was imperative that for this vital exports manufacturing sector, separate special tariff of utilities such Gas, Electricity and Water be fixed and be freezed for a minimum period of one year. Bilwani also emphasized that the Government should take cognizance of the present serious law and order situation and ensure that this is immediately improved on a war footing to encourage not only the remaining entrepreneurs but potential investors to establish and run their business peacefully.