President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said existing interest rate has choked growth which must be reduced to prompt economic activities.
Current level of interest rates is resulting in unemployment and revenue shortfall, therefore, it should be reduced from 13.
25 percent to nine percent, he said.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that revenue targets for the last two months could not be achieved while FBR will have to collect Rs500 billion during the existing month. The target for the ongoing month is difficult as the collection during the last year for the same month was Rs334 billion, he added.
The former minister noted that a thirty percent increase in the revenue collection has not helped the authorities but created unrest among the business community and hampered economic activity.
The businessmen are facing a double whammy of the increased cost of doing business and low demand. Manufacturing is down by 30 percent while large scale manufacturing has witnessed 54 percent contraction, he said.
The continued contraction has forced manufacturers to cut production and many units are on the brink of closure resulting in revenue and employment problems, he warned.
The veteran business leader said that retailer are at daggers drawn due to changed tax policies and unnatural targets while distributors are not ready to accept the condition of NIC due to lack of trust which has become a problem for producers.
He said that buying power of the masses has been eroded while resilience of the business community is on the brink calling for immediate action by the government.