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Steps proposed to check decline of national currency?

Islamabad: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Tuesday expressed grave concern over continued fall of rupee against dollar terming it harmful for the economy.

Blaming policy and political uncertainty, Tariq Mehmood, Director Pak-UK Business Council said that SBP interventions to stabilise rupee has left much to be desired which call for additional measures. Government should immediately convene a high-level consultation with all stakeholders to check the decline of rupee which has plunged to life-time low, he demanded.

Talking to business community here, he said that a 50 basis points cut in key interest rate has failed to excite investors at Karachi Stock Exchange which indicated supressed sentiments.Insecurity has been pushing investors to the safe-haven US currency which is depreciating local unit with fast pace, he said.

Tariq Mehmood said that government should immediately take business community into confidence with the help of national business leaders like VP CACCI Tariq Sayeed and VP Saarc Chamber Iftikhar Ali Malik lest the country’s economic outlook is hurt.We cannot afford to have one of the worst-performing currencies in Asia which is result of deficits and lack of capital inflows, depletion reserves to 8.6 billion, flight of capital, and failure to push through economic reforms.Prolonged local currency weakness has been reversing optimism among local and foreign investors as little has been done to fix economic imbalances, said Tariq Mehmood, who is also former president Attock Chamber of Commerce.Pessimism prevails as many think that policymakers lack a coherent plan to stabilize the currency which will force business community to start looking at opportunities in other countries, he warned.

Tariq Sayeed, former president of FPCCI and Saarc CCI, can play an important role at this critical juncture by giving a positive message to the business community, he said.

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