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Pak economic basics remain strong to tackle virus, says Baqir

By Our Staff Correspondent

KARACHI: Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Reza Baqir said that our economic fundamentals remain strong to tackle the economic challenges that have emerged due to coronavirus pandemic.
“Prior to this pandemic our economic situation was improving, the stock market was going upward, the exchange rate was being appreciated. All of this was happening because the global market was seeing that our fundamentals were being improved,” he said while talking to local media. Baqir expressed optimism saying, that Pakistan’s economy would be back on track as soon as the pandemic is brought under control.
Governor State Bank of Pakistan said that the international community is fully supporting Pakistan. He said that other emerging economies are facing similar challenges like Pakistan. Talking about the policy rate cuts, he said that the State Bank of Pakistan is constantly monitoring the economic situation of the country and that the exchange rate dropped due to uncertainty in the market.
Baqir informed that the G20 countries have made an important decision to provide loan relief to countries including Pakistan while the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is also supporting us. “All the measures that we have taken till now has been backed by the international community,” he said.
Reza Baqir also said that our programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is on track and the road ahead is not as tough as before.
Talking about the measures taken by the central bank to improve digital payments, he said that SBP has reduced the fee on interbank transfer to zero. He said that banks carry out central bank schemes and they are fully cooperating to move the schemes forward.
“We have given a lot of emphasis on promoting digital payment systems,” he said. Governor SBP said that an increase in Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio. “Whenever the economies move into recession or GDP growth drops, NPL ratios rise, but we are optimistic that banks would be able to manage this, as soon as we get out of this situation.”

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