Business community hails PM’s relief package

By Asad Cheema

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has hailed the decision of the government to reduce the prices of petroleum products by Rs15 per litre as it would provide good relief to the inflation-stricken people.
They also urged the government to further cut the interest rate to bring it down in order to ease the problems of business community that has been badly hit by the emerging crisis caused by the coronavirus.
Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that business community was expecting significant cut in the interest rate, but SBP has reduced policy rate by only 1.5 percent.
He urged the government for bring down interest rate to at least 5 percent that would provide significant relief to the business community in these difficult times.
He welcomed the stimulus packaged announced by the Prime Minister Imran Khan and said that business community would be able to give its full reaction on it after revelation of its full details.
However, he urged the government for also reducing the prices of gas and electricity for commercial and industrial consumers and allow them to pay these bills in installments so that businesses could cope with the current crisis situation.
ICCI president said that many industrial units have made required payments of imported raw material, but due to restrictions on transportation, their raw material was lying at ports while they have to pay banks mark up and other charges.
He demanded that government should orders deferring the receipt of banks mark up and demurrages for at least six months so that businesses could be able to sail through the current difficult situation that would provide business community some relief in this tough situation.
He said that in the prevailing conditions, it was difficult for businesses to meet the domestic orders and added that cut in the utility charges for commercial and industrial consumers would reduce their problems to some extent.
Tahir Abbasi, Senior Vice President and Saiur Rehman Khan, Vice President ICCI said that business community was thankful to the government for reducing the POL prices by Rs.15 per litre as it would ease some difficulties of businesses and the common man.
They said that business community was standing with the government in this tough time and would fully cooperate with it in mitigating the problems of the general public.