ISLAMABAD -  Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Sunday said the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) should not hide economic realities from the masses to please authorities.

ICST Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt said, “It is not anticipated that such an institution will try to play with the facts and figures, as knowing correct situation is right of the masses.”  The State Bank of Pakistan while announcing monetary policy has kept interest rates unchanged at 5.75 percent but downplayed the performance of external sector, he added.

He said that dwindling exports, increasing current account deficit, falling remittances could not grab the attention of bank officials, while growth and uptick in some economic activities was overemphasized. Shahid said that falling exports are set to widen deficit and damage foreign exchange reserves therefore it merit more attention. The details of current account deficit were also ignored by the bankers that is around 200 percent in the first ten months of the current fiscal as compared to the last financial year.

He said that remittances are also declining which have shown a slide of three percent in the first nine months. The government should do something to boost exports otherwise only way to keep country afloat will be another foreign loan, he warned.