PESHAWAR: A group of businessmen has expressed concerns over the recent increase in interest rate for next two months by the State Bank of Pakistan.

The group of businessmen has asked the government to take steps for stability of the currency.

In a press statement issued here on Thursday, United Business Group leader Ilyas Ahmad Bilour said that increase in interest rate would cause a new wave of inflation in the country.

He said that the ruling PTI always criticised successive governments for increasing the interest rate. “Now it has increased the interest rate by 12 per cent,” he added.

Mr Bilour, who is also a former senator and central senior leader of ANP, said that the constant hike in dollar rate coupled with increase in power and natural gas tariff brought storm of inflation in the country that affected most of the people particularly the low income group. “The rulers have no concrete planning to overcome the financial crisis,” he added.

The UBG leader said that the PTI government mortgaged the sovereignty of the nation with International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it imposed anti-people policies to get foreign loans.

He said the rulers bargained over the country’s interests for nominal economic gains. “The government must share with the people the conditions attached with the IMF bailout package,” said Mr Bilour. He added that there seemed no end to hike in the price of daily use commodities.

He recalled that Imran Khan had pledged that he would prefer commit suicide if he was forced to seek financial assistance from IMF. “Now his government is jubilant over its agreement for loan with the money-lending institution,” he added.

Mr Bilour said that rulers handed over the affairs of the country to IMF in real sense as it appointed the IMF people on the key posts. He said that the tough conditions of foreign loans had added to the miseries of the poor.

He demanded of the government to immediately withdraw its decision regarding increase in the interest rate and take steps for stability of the national currency against the US dollar.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2019