ICCI demands withdrawal of 7% hike in prices of POL products

  • May 05, 2010
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to consider immediate withdrawal of latest seven percent hike in the prices of petroleum products to save the business community from falling into deep troubles.

Chairing a meeting of ICCI Sub Committee on Energy, Zahid Maqbool, President ICCI said that businessmen were already struggling hard to cope with the negative effects of power crisis and in these circumstances increasing prices of petroleum should have been avoided at all costs as it will badly affect business activities apart from bringing new miseries to the common man.

He said repeated raise in the prices of electricity, gas and POL products in recent past has enormously increased the cost of production making our exports highly uncompetitive in international markets and giving rise to inflation in the country due to which common man is now finding it very hard to meet the minimum needs of life.

He said in the newly-announced Labor Policy, the government had taken a welcome step by increasing the minimum wage to Rs7,000, but latest rise in fuel prices will nullify this good step. He said government should realize the problems of poor people and come up with hefty relief measures for them. He said making hefty cut in the prices of electricity, gas and POL products would be a great relief to the people.

The Committee members termed the latest increase in POL prices as a severe blow to the trade, industry, agriculture sectors and the inflation-hit consumers. They said the fresh hike in POL prices would not only push up the prices of every commodity but it would also aggravate the already deteriorating economic situation.

They said that this step of the government would add to the cost of industrial production that was already under pressure because of higher electricity and gas charges. The increase in the transportation cost of goods would inflate manifold, which would ultimately lead to the great slow down in business activities.

Zahid Maqbool said that economy had just started to recover from slump period, but such harsh measures would push the economy again into recession. Therefore, he called upon the government to urgently withdraw this hike to save the overall economy from going down further.