ISLAMABAD (WEB NEWS)
Muhammad Shakeel Munir, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) said that the government has made yet another historic hike in the prices of petroleum products, which could prove destructive as it would unleash a new wave of high inflation and cause great increase in the cost of doing business. He said that the third hike in POL prices within a period of just three weeks would badly squeeze the purchasing power of the common man leading to a sharp decline in the business activities. He said that the government has already increased the electricity and gas tariffs that would push up production costs and inflation for the common man. He urged that the government should immediately reconsider such harsh decisions as their consequences would be devastating for the businesses and the general public. He said this while addressing a meeting of the business community. Muhammad Faheem Khan Vice President ICCI, Zubair Ahmed Malik former President ICCI & FPCCI, Muhammad Naveed Malik and Tauseef Zaman former Senior Vice Presidents ICCI were present at the occasion.
Muhammad Shakeel Munir said that the price of petrol has now jumped to almost Rs.234/litre and diesel to around Rs.264/litre taking these prices to the record highest level in the country’s history. He said that these massive hikes in the utility tariffs and POL prices would multiply the cost of doing business due to which trade and industrial activities would badly suffer.
ICCI President said that the environment for doing business in Pakistan was becoming more difficult as SBP has already increased the policy interest rate to 13.75 percent making credit cost unaffordable for the business community. He cautioned that such harsh measures would make our industry more uncompetitive in the international market and reduce our exports. He wondered who would do business and invest in Pakistan in an environment of repeated hikes in utility tariffs and POL prices. He stressed that the government should make drastic cuts in all non-development expenditures and reduce the profit margins of OMCs instead of putting an unbearable burden on the businesses and masses. He urged that in these difficult times, the government should focus on promoting ease of doing business to improve exports and steer the economy out of current challenges.
Jamshaid Akhtar Sheikh Senior Vice President and Muhammad Faheem Khan Vice President ICCI said that petrol price has gone up from Rs.108.56/litre to around Rs.234/litre and diesel from Rs.110. 76/litre to around Rs264/litre from 1st June 2021 to 16th June 2022, which shows an increase of almost 115 percent and 138 percent respectively in a period of just one year. They said that the frequent hikes in POL prices and utility tariffs would shatter the confidence of investors who needed consistent prices and tariffs to make long-term investments in Pakistan. They urged that the government should reconsider the latest hikes in POL prices and utility tariffs to save the masses, businesses and the economy from deep troubles.