Businessmen strongly oppose hike in Petroleum Oil Lubricant prices

Islamabad, September 03, 2013 (PPI-OT): The local business community in a meeting at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry strongly opposed the recent hike in petroleum products and called upon the government to review its decision as it would have highly negative impact on business, industry and the overall economy. It would also increase inflation causing more miseries for the common man.

Chairing the meeting, Zafar Bakhtawari, President, ICCI stressed that instead of hiking electricity and POL prices, government should work for facilitating the growth of business activities and serving the cause of common man.

He said the election of new government had created lot of hopes in businessmen for better business prospects but such measures have disappointed them as hiking utility and POL prices would tend to hurt trade and industry as well as discourage new businesses in the country.

He said the government has already made a historical increase in the power tariff ranging from 25 percent to 60 percent for commercial, industrial and bulk consumers while more than four percent hike in petrol and more than two percent hike in diesel prices would further increase cost of doing business in the country and make our exports very uncompetitive in international market.

He said that not only the transportation cost of goods will multiply but the fares of public transport will also increase, which will cause great problems for the poor commuters. He advised the government to make maximum efforts for avoiding taking such anti-trade, anti-industry and anti-people measures in the larger interest of the country.

Zafar Bakhtawari said Pakistan badly needs new investment in energy and other sectors of the economy, but rising energy and petroleum prices would discourage prospective investors from coming to Pakistan and ultimately all efforts of the government for reviving the economy would prove unfruitful.

Businessmen said that the government should make serious efforts to halt the downslide in the value of rupee which is the main cause of all these problems. They said the dwindling value of rupee has already caused an increase of about Rs.250 billion in country’s debt without borrowing a penny and if government could not bring stability in our currency rate, business and economy would plunge into further problems.

ICCI President urged that government should take businessmen on board on all important matters so that key economic decisions could be made with consensus to save the economy from harmful consequences.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526 and 225 3145
Fax: +9251 225 2950