Massive hike in POL prices to unleash new wave of inflation


Acting President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) Faad Waheed has said that the government has made massive hike of Rs.35 per litre in one go in the prices of petrol and diesel that would unleash a new wave of high inflation for the common man and further increase the cost of doing business making our exports uncompetitive in the international markets.

In a statement issued here on Monday, he said that a decline of 35 rupees in Pakistani currency against the US dollar and Rs35 per litre hike in the prices of petrol and diesel would create a ripple effect as it would badly squeeze the purchasing power of people, reduce growth of business activities making it more difficult to revive the dwindling economy.

Faad Waheed was of the view that the price of petrol has jumped to almost Rs.250/litre and diesel to around Rs.263/litre taking these prices to the record highest level in the country’s history. He said that this unprecedented hike in POL prices would multiply the energy cost and further increase the cost of doing business due to which trade and industrial activities would badly suffer.

He said that diesel is used in transportation and agricultural sectors while a big jump in its price would increase transportation cost of goods and agricultural products causing more inflation, especially for low-income people. Moreover, the hike in the price of petrol would also increase transport fares that would bring more misery to the already inflation-stricken people.

The ICCI Acting President said that an artificial shortage of petrol and diesel was being created in the market as the oil marketing companies (OMCs) were not distributing them to the petrol pumps and this situation can cause unnecessary panic in the market. He urged that the government should look into this issue and take strong measures to deter the OMCs from hoarding the stock of petrol and ensure the smooth operation of its supply chain to save the people from further troubles.