State Bank governor says economy showing signs of improvement

SBP Governor, Reza Baqir, has said that the economy has begun to show signs of improvement, adding that inflation would start easing soon as a result of the new measures. He said that exchange rate has stabilized and the trade and Current Account Deficit is shrinking at a fast pace. In a meeting with KCCI, he said that GDP growth is still low, but the growth is positive. He added that foreign exchange has restarted flowing back to the country, which would augment reserves and help exchange rate further stabilize. Talking about the interest rates, he said that measures are in place and once the inflation comes down, the monetary policy committee will definitely consider it while deciding the discount rates. The governor said that SBP has launched several SME financing and export refinancing schemes and urged the business community to avail credits on concessionary rates. He asked KCCI leadership to upload the SBP business financing schemes, especially SMEs on KCCI website, for awareness of members. Moreover, SBP and KCCI also decided to form a focal group for jointly working on promotion of small and medium enterprises sector. To a demand of KCCI for re-opening of banks on Saturdays to facilitate the trade and industry, he said they will think over it. Chairman BMG group and former President KCCI, Siraj Kassam Teli, complained the SBP governor of higher interest rates, which have resulted in higher cost of doing business. Teli said that the discount rate should be in single digit as in most of the countries of the world. Earlier, KCCI President Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan briefed the Governor and his team about various financing and regulatory issues confronting trade and industry. He also urged the SBP to launch soft loan schemes for all sectors of the economy.