ICCI strongly resents increase in gas prices

  • August 08, 2011
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has strongly resented the raise in gas prices by 13.5 percent and termed it an unwise move as it would further increase the cost of doing business, hit industrial production and affect exports.

Mahfooz Elahi, President, ICCI said that our economy was still struggling for recovery and it was the need of the hour that government should have focused on reducing cost of doing businesses instead of increasing gas prices many times during the last two years.
He said that repeated increase in the prices of gas in recent past has badly eroded Pakistan’s competitiveness due to which the country was losing attraction for investment and this situation would further destabilize the economy. He said that the government should consider reducing the power tariffs rather than burdening the business community and the common man with the unprecedented increase in gas prices.

He said that the output of the industrial sector declined sharply in 2010 owing to electricity and gas shortages, adding that, the latest increase in gas price has belied the tall claims of the government that it would erase all sorts of distortions in the overall gas price outlook. He said that the government should extend support to ailing business and industry rather than raising gas prices.

He condemned the sharp increase in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) prices by Rs7-8 per kg to Rs63.11 from Rs56.70 per kg and said that after increase in CNG price, people would start using petrol and diesel which would ultimately increase the oil import bill that would add burden on national economy.

Mahfooz Elahi was of the view that Government was taking step to discourage the CNG sector when the economy was facing petrol shortage and inflationary pressure was making the cost of living difficult.

ICCI President called for withdrawal of increase in gas prices to strengthen the industry and trade activities. Industry could grow and become cost competitive in the regional and international markets, if Government cut in gas prices, he maintained.