Excessive government borrowing hampering industrial revival – ICCI

  • October 20, 2009
Excessive government borrowing from banking sector has drastically reduced credit availability for private sector hampering the revival of trade & industrial activities and government should control this pernicious trend to revive private sector credit which was critical for stimulating economic activities.

This was said by Zahid Maqbool, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) while talking to a delegation of local businessmen at ICCI. He said according to a report, government borrowing from July 1 to mid-September, 2009 from the State Bank of Pakistan, commercial banks and national savings schemes has gone over Rs.200 billion versus Rs.146 billion in the same period last year showing an increase of over 37%, which has badly squeezed credit for private sector.

He said private sector was the engine of growth for an economy and government should provide easy credit to facilitate its increasing participation in the national economy along with domestic & foreign investors to ensure accelerated GDP growth, income and employment generation.

The businessmen also criticized high discount rate which waseroding competitiveness and capability of the business community. They said due to high interest rate, Pakistani businessmen were rapidly loosing ground to many regional countries like India and Bangladesh in international trade

They said that to revive the competitiveness of Pakistani products and regain their lost grounds in international and domestic markets, government should made drastic cut in the interest rate. They were of the view that cut in discount rate would encourage business activities and boost the otherwise dwindling credit to the private sector.

ICCI President said the ongoing electricity load shedding has also seriously affected the local industries and exports, forcing lay off of millions of workers and closure of thousands of industrial units in the country. He called upon the government to take immediate measures for overcoming the energy crisis by exploiting all alternative energy sources for uninterrupted running of the industrial units.

He cautioned that if the government did not overcome the power shutdowns and did not adopt policies to control unemployment, then the coming times would witness the devastating social unrest in the country.