ICCI slams massive hike in gas prices and terms it a big blow to industry

  • October 31, 2023
Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) said that the government has made an unprecedent hike of up to 3900 percent in fixed monthly charges and 194 percent in consumers rates of gas that would bring a massive wave of inflation for the common man and prove to be a big blow to the industry leading to closure of many industries across the country. He said this while presiding over a meeting of ICCI Executive Body at Chamber House.

Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari said that the economy of Pakistan is still struggling for recovery and it is high time that the government should focus on providing affordable energy tariffs for business and industry to revive the economy. However, instead of promoting ease of doing business, the electricity and gas tariffs have been increased manifold in Pakistan causing massive hike in cost of doing business and making our exports more uncompetitive in the international market. He said that the government is passing on the burden of poor performance and financial losses of the electricity and gas companies to the end consumers by increasing their tariffs, which is not a right approach. He stressed that instead of increasing power tariffs, the government should focus on addressing the inefficiencies of electricity and gas companies and plug their leakages to make them efficient.

President ICCI said that already the unjustified hike in the prices of electricity had forced people to come to the streets in August this year and said that the unprecedented hike in gas tariffs would make their lives more miserable besides badly affecting the business and investment activities in the country. He urged that the government should reconsider the increase in gas prices to save the people and the businesses from further troubles.

Faad Waheed, Senior Vice President ICCI said that gas is a key input to the manufacturing activities of many industries and the latest hike in its price would lead to closure of many industries that would further weaken the economy. He said that Pakistan needs to boost industrialization to improve its economy, but such decisions would cause deindustrialization in the country and damage the economy.

Engr. Azhar ul Islam Zafar, Vice President ICCI said that the prices of electricity and gas in Pakistan are almost highest in the region due to which it has become very difficult for the private sector to compete effectively in the international market. He said that the government in consultation with the stakeholders should revise electricity and gas prices to make them affordable for all consumers.