LCCI demands withdrawal in fuel prices for the sake
The Lahore Chamber of Commerce of Commerce & Industry has urged the government to bring down the fuel prices for the sake of trade, industry and agriculture sector that are already working in challenging circumstances. The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javed, Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed and Vice President Zeeshan Khalil said that recent hikes in the prices of petroleum products, electricity and gas should be withdrawn as these are bound to jack up the cost of doing business that is already high. They said that government should cut the number of taxes on petroleum products as the fuel is the engine of growth and no industry can run without it.
They said that if the fuel would be heavily taxed the entire economy would suffer and the same happened in Pakistan due to repeated increases in the fuel prices.
The LCCI office-bearers said that only because of high cost of doing business in Pakistan, a large number of industrial units had shifted their operations to other countries in recent past while recent decision would further discourage the business community.
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 petroleum products are being used in tractors, tube-wells, harvesters, thrashers and other agriculture machinery. They said that the cost of thermal generation by private sector would also go up. They 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.
The LCCI office-bearers 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 is fast widening due to heavy imports under the head of petroleum products.
They were of the view that the timeline for the increase in the prices of petroleum products is also raising questions because at a time when the whole industry is suffering and exports are showing declining trend, the rise in POL prices is bound to give a big blow to the industry. The LCCI office-bearers hoped that increases in fuel prices would be withdrawn by keeping in view the ground realities.