LAHORE              -              Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the government to decrease interest rate to a single digit for improving business activities in the country. In a statement issued on Thursday, LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar and Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad said that high cost of borrowing was discouraging the demand of credit by the private sector and slowing down the economic activities. They said that reduction in markup rate from existing 13.25% to single digit would be a great favor to the industrial sector. It would help the government to attain the target of industrial growth, would reduce the cost of production and would also bring capital of the banks into circulation. “Markup rate influences the cost of product. Pakistani products cannot compete in the international market to those countries which are offering capital to their industries on zero or less than one percent markup rates”, the LCCI office-bearers added. They said that policy rate increased to 13.25 in July 2019 as compared to 6.5% in May 2018. Sharp increase in interest rate pushed up borrowing cost that retarded investment, capacity generation and hence exports. They said that tight monetary policy stance had always proved a big blow to the industrial sector.