RAWALPINDI : The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has shown strong reservations over increasing interest rate by 150 basis points to 12.25 percent and urged the government to withdraw this hike as it would increase the credit cost of commercial banks, ultimately badly affect the growth of industrial activities and create more difficulties for the small and medium enterprise (SME).

RCCI President Malik Shahid Saleem, in a statement, said that the central bank has raised its interest rate by a sharp 150 basis points in one go. He said that the sharp increase in interest rate would discourage investors from considering Pakistan for investment and badly affect investment in different projects.

He said that Pakistan needed quick revival of business and industrial activities to improve the health of the economy, but 150 basis point increase in interest rate would make the cost of credit unaffordable for business community and badly affect their efforts for promoting business activities.

RCCI chief said currently government is facing pressure on fiscal deficit, and this increase in interest rate will increase the budget deficit. He asked Advisor on Finance, Revenue Dr Hafiz Sheikh to review the SBP announcement and must hold a meeting with the business leaders to discuss and devise a new strategy for steering the economy out of current troubles.