Business community condemns hike in diesel price

  • September 02, 2010
Local businessmen strongly condemned the increase in the prices of high speed diesel & light diesel oil terming it a lethal decision against their interests as it will give rise to the transportation cost of goods and adversely affect business activities in the country.

Giving vent to their feelings of frustration in a meeting at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), they lashed at the decision of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) as it would give a new impetus to the already surging inflation.

Mr.Zahid Maqbool, President, ICCI, chairing the meeting, said that Ogra has taken a wrong decision at a wrong time. He said that in the aftermath of the devastating floods, cost of many essential items has already gone up while hike in diesel price would increase inflation manifold by pushing up the transportation costs.

He said the hike in kerosene price would also add to the economic miseries of poor people, especially for those who are living in the far-flung areas where gas and LPG is not available.

He said that the consumption of petrol in the country is low as compared to the usage of high speed diesel. Thus increasing the price of diesel and giving a minor decrease to the price of petrol will not give any worthwhile benefit to the consumers and the economy.

Businessmen said that due to electricity shortage, diesel is used in agriculture sector for running tube wells while it is also used in thermal power houses for power generation. They said that hike in price of diesel will put additional burden on farmers apart from further raising the power rates in the country.

Thus the hike in the price of diesel will have multiple negative effects on the economy as it will enhance the power rates, increase transportation cost & cost of doing business and will ultimately bring more miseries to more than 170 million people of Pakistan.

ICCI President urged the government to withdraw the increase in diesel and kerosene prices to save businesses from further destruction and the general people from additional difficulties. He said government should look for cheap alternative sources of energy to lessen its dependence on diesel and petrol as is being done by many other countries of the world.