Hike in petroleum prices to create more problems for economy: Businessmen

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) was angry with yet another increase in the prices of the government’s oil products, calling it an unwise decision that would go against the interests of businesses and the general public, leading to further inflation and the high cost of doing business.

The report would ultimately make it even more difficult for the business community to stimulate business and economic activity in the country. Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, chairman of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that people and businesses are already struggling to combat the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, raising the price of gasoline by Rs 3.20 and diesel Rs in these difficult conditions. It will create more problems for 2.95 economy per liter. He said the government is also preparing to increase the electricity tariff, which will add additional burden to ordinary people and businesses. He said that repeated increases in product prices and utility tariffs would shake investors’ confidence as they need predictable and consistent policies and tariffs to invest in Pakistan.

The president of the ICCI said that people and businesses are trying to take some aid measures from the government in the difficult conditions prevailing, as governments around the world have done to free their nations from deep trouble. Therefore, the clock needed the government to consider cutting back on electricity tariffs and prices of POL products in order to reduce the cost of doing business and thus promote the development of industrial and commercial activities in the country. But on the contrary, the government was making decisions that would further increase the cost of doing business and make our products more competitive in the international market. He was of the opinion that raising oil and diesel prices would further increase the cost of production, as transportation would be more expensive and would have a detrimental effect on agriculture and other sectors.

Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said the government has made petroleum products an important source of revenue raising for no clever approach. He said the government is currently around 42 Rupees per liter for gasoline and diesel in terms of taxes and oil tax. He said the government should make substantial cuts in petroleum products and impose charges on petroleum products to give businesses much-needed relief that will also lower inflation. He said that most of the electricity in Pakistan is generated from fossil fuels, so the price of electricity in the region is higher, which multiplies the cost of doing business. Therefore, he emphasized that the government should focus on renewable energy sources that will provide cheap energy for energy production and reduce inflation.

Updated: January 17, 2021 — 7:42 am

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