The Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce wants the Bank of Israel to explain why it didn't set interest rates for May, under oath.

On Thursday the federation petitioned the High Court of Justice. Its petition, signed by chairman Dan Gillerman, asks the court to direct Bank of Israel governor David Klein to explain why he has not set interest rates for May.

The Federation points out that interest rate decisions affect the whole business environment. "The economic cost to borrowers for each week in which monetary interest could have been lowered but wasn't is estimated at NIS 20 million," the Federation claims.

It also claims that the governor's failure to impose his authority to determine monetary policy is effectively holding the entire nation hostage to the labor dispute at the central bank.

The Federation notes that the governor blames his inability to set interest rates on labor disruptions. It notes that Klein claims the central bank workers are not providing data essential to proper decision-making on lending rates.

But the Federation says that notices from the bank's labor reps present a different picture, namely that there is nothing stopping the governor from making such decisions.