Businessmen resent 10-15 percent price hike in POL products that will severely affect business activities

  • July 01, 2009
Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Shaban Khalid & Muhammad Ishtiaq Qureshi, Vice Presidents and Executive Members of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) in a meeting strongly condemned the 10-15 percent hike in POL products which will further dampen the business activities leading to strangulation of the economy. 

They said POL prices were highly correlated to the economic growth rate and hike in these prices always led to severe stagnation of the industry as it raised the cost of production which subsequently led to increase in the prices of finished goods.

Mian Shaukat Masud said raising POL prices, particularly at a time when trade and industry was passing through a difficult phase, was a totally unwise and lose-lose decision. He said as a result of this hike consumers will have to face very high prices in the local market while in the international market prices of our products would become more uncompetitive leading to further contraction in our exports.

He said 70 percent of electricity in the country was generated through thermal sources and this hike will significantly push up price of electricity which would translate into increase in the prices of all items making life of common man more miserable.

He said this ill-advised decision would also badly hit the agriculture and transportation sectors and would endanger their commercial viability. The end result would be that it will unleash a new wave of price hike and inflation in the country.

ICCI President lamented that whenever POL prices went up in international market, government lost not much time to increase them in domestic market, but whenever prices came down, the required relief was not passed on to people which was a great injustice to them.

He called upon the government to get free from the clutches of donor agencies & IMF and make independent decisions in the larger national interest otherwise people would lose trust in the democracy.

Mian Shaukat said business leaders of whole country have always been demanding of the government to reduce high power tariff & interest rates, rationalize taxes, overcome energy crisis to create conducive environment for business activities. But it seemed that all our pleas fell on deaf ears because instead of taking measures to address business community problems, government was taking anti-business and anti-people decisions

Therefore, he stressed upon the government to immediately review this harmful decision to save the people and businesses from further destruction otherwise country would witness closure of more industries, great rise in unemployment and poverty which could further vitiate law & order situation.