Pakistan Industrial & Traders Associations Front (PIAF) has condemned the government for increasing price of petrol by Rs 3.56 per, taking the price of the commodity to the record highest level of past three years. PIAF chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that the price of petrol has been increased by 4.2 percent from Rs84.51 to Rs 88.07 per litre, terming it bad news for the country’s economy, as this 5th time consecutive hike in fuel rates has been increasing cost of production ultimately. PIAF has also asked the government to reduce electricity tariff, urging the authorities to also provide gas at uniform rate across Pakistan to ensure affordable cost of doing business in the country. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh along with senior vice chairman Tanveer Ahmed Sufi and vice chairman Kh. Shahzeb Akram, argued that the high cost of doing business is hindering Pakistan in achieving its export target. He also demanded for a uniform gas tariff, since Punjab faces a higher rate than the one in Sindh. Chairman PIAF said that HSD is widely used in transport and agriculture sector and increase in its price will raise the input cost of farmers and transporters manifold. Moreover, the government has also ordered to charge 31 percent general sales tax on HSD and 17 percent rate for other petroleum products. He said though the prices of oil in global market are going up yet the authorities can keep the rates stable by reducing tax ratio which is highest in the region. He termed it a bad news for the country’s economy which was already facing a number of challenges, saying that the increase would put extra burden on the consumers.