The government should not even think about any increase in petroleum prices at this critical stage when all indicators are not in favor of economy. No sector would be left unaffected if government goes against the ground realities and increases POL prices that is one of the major raw materials for the industry and a must for trade and economic activities, the LCCI office bearers said.
The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid, Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rashid and Vice President Zeshan Khalil said that any increase in POL prices will badly disturb the industrial, trade, economic and social activities.
“The government should cut down non-development expenditures instead of dropping petrol bomb on the trade and industry which is already struggling for survival.
Industry would not be able to contribute in economic uplift of the country if anti-industry decision is taken”, the LCCI office-bearers said.
The LCCI office-bearers said that though oil prices in the international market are on the rise but instead of passing this surge to the trade, industry and masses, government should cut the number of taxes and duties levied on petroleum products. They said that it is not the industrial sector alone but the agriculture sector would also badly suffer.
They said that Pakistan agriculture sector is engine of growth. The increase in petroleum prices would increase the input cost of agriculture production as high speed diesel is being used in tractors, tube-wells, harvesters, thrashers and other agriculture machinery. They said that the cost of thermal generation by private sector to go up. The LCCI office-bearers said that Government is producing huge amount of electricity through thermal means and after increase in petroleum prices, prices of electricity would touch new highs.
They said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry had for the last many years been calling on the concerned government circles to take measures for the promotion of alternate fuels as trade deficit was fast widening due to heavy imports under the head of petroleum products.
They demanded of the government to move wisely and turn down any suggestion of increase in POL prices as who are doing it, they have no know how of the challenges being faced by the trade, industry and economy.