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Pakistan: Fix interest rates at 5 per cent urge APTMA, PRGMEA

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association and the Pakistan Ready Made Garments Manufacture and Exporters Association has appealed to government to fix interest rate at 5 per cent for the industry, especially when it is facing problems due to deferment or cancellation of shipments to Europe and the USA on account of closure of international borders due to COVID-19.

Earlier, the State Bank of Pakistan cut its benchmark interest rate for the second time in a week, lowering it by 150 basis points to 11 percent. Similarly, chief coordinator PRGMEA Ijaz Khokhar too has said the government should lock down the interest rate at 5 per cent for industry, especially for the small and medium enterprises for at least one year. He also said that the SME is the sector which is mostly affected by the coronavirus. He said most export orders given to small and medium enterprises were either halted or cancelled so the government should announce relief package for this industry as thousands of people were directly or indirectly associated with this sector.

Khokar also appealed to government to grant permission for entry of export goods worth millions of dollars dispatched from Sialkot to Karachi. The cargo was stuck on the border of Sindh as the Sindh government was not allowing the cargo to enter its province. Similarly, shipments of worth millions of dollars were ready for dispatching and were laying in factories of Sialkot waiting for government's policy regarding movement of export goods.