APTMA seeks re­gion­ally com­pet­i­tive in­ter­est rate

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

LAHORE

Chair­man All Pak­istan Textile Mills As­so­ci­a­tion (APTMA) Ah­san Bashir has urged for pro­vi­sion of re­gion­ally com­pet­i­tive in­ter­est rate in the wake of im­prove­ment in the eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors.

He has ap­pre­ci­ated the gov­ern­ment for bring­ing in­fla­tion rate down to 8% be­sides im­prove­ment in cur­rent ac­count deficit. This vi­tal sign of im­prove­ment in the eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors is a big achieve­ment for the gov­ern­ment and should be re­flected in the up­com­ing mone­tary pol- icy to re­in­force the gov­ern­ment's com­mit­ment of strength­en­ing the econ­omy through in­vest­ment friendly mea­sures, he added.

He said it is im­per­a­tive for the eco­nomic man­agers of the coun­try to con­sider fur­ther re­duc­tion in the in­ter­est rate as a con­fi­dence build­ing mea­sure to en­cour­age in­dus­trial in­vest­ment in the coun­try.

Chair­man APTMA pointed out that the textile in­dus­try in Pak­istan has failed to un­der­take green field or BMR in­vest­ment since 2006 due to the high in­ter­est rates cou­pled with se­vere short­age of en­ergy. The time has come to slash down the in­ter­est rate at par with re­gional com­peti­tors for the textile in­dus­try, he stressed.

Ah­san said a re­gion­ally com­pet­i­tive in­ter­est rate will at­tract in­vest­ment in the textile in­dus­try, which is long over­due and will en­able to nar­row down the tech­no­log­i­cal gap and cre­ate in­cre­men­tal ca­pac­i­ties for gen­er­at­ing ex­portable sur­plus.

He said it is an op­por­tune time for the in­dus­try to pre­pare it­self for the po­ten­tial ben­e­fits of the im­mi­nent mar­ket ac­cess from the Euro­pean Union ( EU), at zero tar­iff level on im­ports into EU from Jan 2014 on­wards un­der GSP Plus.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the $18-bil­lion textile in­dus­try of Pak­istan is keenly look­ing for­ward to a com­pet­i­tive in­ter­est rate be­fore undertaking pro­duc­tive in­vest­ment in rou­tine.

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