Economic stability top priority, says SBP governor

LAHORE:State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Dr Reza Baqir has said that stabilising economy was a top priority while effective and comprehensive measures were being put in place for improving economy gradually.

He was talking to business community under the leadership of Abdul Rauf Mukhtar, Regional Chairman of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), here at FPCCI Regional Office, according to Federation’s spokesman here on Sunday.

The SBP governor said that reasons behind increasing trade deficit in recent years was the absence of a market-based exchange rate.

Dr Reza Baqir said, “In previous years, whenever the trade deficit increased, the exchange rate did not adjust as it was kept fixed. And it led to increase in the deficit since there was an intervention in the system.” National economy suffered a huge loss when the money in exchequer ended, he said and added, “However, we have brought the exchange rate in the market system by devising a policy that ensures monitoring of supply and demand movements.”

The SBP governor said that it was his priority to bring sustainable growth in the banking business and the situation was better now than it was six months ago. He said that reforms had also been initiated and the central bank was also focused on SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) development.

Dr Reza said that due to a sustained policy focus, the country’s exports had increased by 10 to 20 per cent. The government, he said, desired to increase in profitability of private business and to promote employment. And if the private sector still had some issues with the public sector, the government would make all out efforts to resolve their problems, he assured.

“We believe in competition, as without this we cannot progress. So the private sector must come forward and play its part for the prosperity of Pakistan,” he said.