ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has urged the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to reduce the mark-up rate by 150 to 200 basis points in the monetary policy to be announced on 10 August. ICCI President Yassar Sakhi Butt has said that the decision to cut the mark-up rate to a single digit is essential for reviving business activities and encouraging new investments, which will ultimately improve economic growth. He was of the view that maintaining mark-up at 12% will further increase non-performing loans and unemployment in the private sector. He said that the availability of cheap money to businesspersons is necessary to reduce the cost of business in Pakistan, as trade and industry are already facing huge losses due to high costs of energy. Butt said that heavy government borrowing at the cost of the private sector’s growth was hampering the economy.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2012.