ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has resented yet another increase by the government in the prices of petroleum products and termed it an unwise decision that would go against the interests of businesses and the general public giving rise to more inflation and high cost of doing business.
It would ultimately make it more difficult for the business community to revive the business and economic activities in the country, it said. Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, president Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the people and businesses were already struggling to combat the impact of Covid-19 pandemic and in these tough conditions, increasing price of petrol by Rs.3.20 and diesel by Rs.2.95 per litre would create more problems for the economy. He said that the government was also preparing to increase electricity tariff, which would put additional burden on the common man and the businesses. He said that the repeated hikes in POL products prices and utility tariffs would shatter the confidence of investors as they needed predictable and consistent policies and tariffs to make investment in Pakistan.
ICCI president said that in the prevailing difficult circumstances, people and businesses were looking towards some relief measures from the government as was done by the governments around the world to save their nations from deep troubles. Therefore, it was the need of the hour that the government should have considered making cut in power tariffs and prices of POL products to bring down the cost of doing business thus enabling industrial and business activities to flourish in the country. But on the contrary, the government was making decisions that would further enhance the cost of doing business and make our products more uncompetitive in the international market. He was of the view that raising the price of petrol and diesel would further increase the production cost as it would make transport more expensive and would have a harmful effect on agriculture and other sectors.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that the government has made petroleum products an important source of revenue collection which was not a wise approach. He said that the government was currently getting around Rs.42 per liter on petrol and diesel in terms of taxes and petroleum levy. He urged that the government should make significant cut in taxes and levy on petroleum products to give much needed relief to the businesses that would also reduce inflation. He said that most of the electricity in Pakistan was generated from fossil fuel due to which the price of electricity was higher in the region and this has multiplied the cost of doing business. Therefore, he stressed that the government should focus on renewable energy sources for power generation that would provide cheap energy and bring down inflation as well.