Government should take concrete steps to prevent hoarding and profiteering before Budget 2009-10 – Mian Shaukat Masud

  • June 04, 2009
Reports are pouring in that unscrupulous elements has started hoarding essential items of daily use before the announcement of budget 2009-10 causing shortage and high prices. Therefore, government should immediately take concrete steps to prevent such unethical business practices to save the inflation-hit people from further miseries. This demand was made by Mian Shaukat, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a statement. He said in order to check hoarding and profiteering, government should urgently activate its price control machinery besides asking the provincial governments for vigilance and administrative measures to check any undue increase in the prices of items of daily use. He said if left unchecked, hoarding and profiteering by unscrupulous elements will further push up the prices of edibles adding fuel to the fire.

ICCI President said that to bring down the high production cost and high inflation, government should reduce utility charge and high mark up rate in coming budget. He was of the view that apart from phenomenon of hoarding and profiteering, higher utility charges and higher mark up rate were the main factors of increasing cost of doing business and pushing up inflation in the country. He said due to this situation, country was witnessing contraction in manufacturing, trade and industrial activities, causing more unemployment and increasing poverty which has gone up from 24 percent to 38 percent. The large scale manufacturing has also witnessed a negative growth of 5-6 percent. He said these gloomy conditions are creating more concerns in business community and called upon the government to take urgent remedial measures to arrest the further downward slide of economy.

ICCI President said instead of cutting development spending, government should make hefty cut in its non-development expenditure which has reportedly gone up by 25 per cent. This, he observed, is necessary because the government’s non-development expenditure runs into hundreds of billions of rupees and it can have a significant inflationary impact, if not controlled. Moreover, he stressed that the untaxed income and windfall gains should be duly taxed to prevent such income from going into conspicuous consumption which pushes the inflation rate higher. He said despite being an agricultural country, prices of daily consumption items in Pakistan are very high. Hoarding & profiteering has played a big part in raising their prices. Therefore, government should pay urgent attention to this problem so that prices could come down and poor persons could easily meet their daily needs of edibles. This will also give boost to business activities, he added.