The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has lost more than 2200 points on the 100 indexes on 18 March and across the board. All major scripts, including the cement industry, turned red, causing huge losses to investors. The market reacted negatively on the announcement of a meagre cut in interest rate by the Central Bank of Pakistan after four years. The State Bank announced 75 basis points reduction in interest rate to 12.5 per cent that was less than the market’s anticipation in the wake of an economic slowdown.
The Pakistan apex trade body, leading chambers and economic experts have shown their disappointment and urged the government to review the interest rate, keeping in view the economic crisis arising after the coronavirus. Mian Anjum Nisar, President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said that the SBP decision seems totally against the global wisdom under prevailing drastic conditions of the life-threatening disease caused by COVID-19.
Global think tanks and a large number of countries are supporting economic activities by introducing ease of doing business and market expansion policies, while SBP ignoring the current devastating conditions around the world that would affect Pakistan’s exports