The business community here on Thursday objected the decision of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to raise the key interest rate by 125 basis points, taking it to 15pc, which would be proven detrimental for industrial growth, economic and trade activities. Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Hasnain Khurshid Ahmad while chairing a meeting of industrialists and traders here at the chamber’s house, said the business community ‘rejects’ this increase in interest rate, jacking up from 13.75 per cent to 15 per cent. The meeting was attended by chamber’s senior vice president Imran Khan Mohmand, vice president Javed Akhtar, industrialists, traders and exporters in a large number. Hasnain said “The historic hike in policy rate will increase the cost of doing business.” He added the decision wasn’t in the best interest of economy, industries and businesses and should be revised immediately. “Trade, industrial and commercial activities have already slowed down as result of several waves of Covid-19 while announcement of hike in policy rate by SBP under prevalent circumstances is completely incomprehensible,” the SCCI chief told the meeting. He urged the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail to take notice of this whopping increase in interest rate by the central bank. The SCCI’s president recalled that SBP had previously made a hike by 2.5 per cent, jacking up the interest rate at 13.75 per cent and again raising it by 125 basis points, taking it to 15 per cent, which would hurt investment and increase the cost of businesses. He continued to say that the hike would bring a new wave of inflation in the country, and would also negatively impact the country’s exports. He requested the Acting Governor SBP, Dr. Murtaza Syed to take back the decision of increase in interest rate in order unhurt trade and commercial activities in the country.