Muhammad Shakeel Munir, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has said that the government has made yet another big hike in the prices of petroleum products within a short span of time that would entail very harmful consequences for the business sector and unleash a new wave of high inflation for the common man. He urged that the government should urgently withdraw this unprecedented hike to save the businesses and the people from its serious consequences.
Shakeel Munir said that the government had increased the price of petrol by Rs.14.49/litre, high speed diesel by Rs.14.44/litre, LDO by Rs.17.66/litre and kerosene oil by Rs.18/litre in the third week of October 2021, which was resented by almost every segment of society. However, the government has made another hike the POL prices in the first week of September that would plunge the business class and the general public into deep troubles. He said that the people were already facing great difficulties due to high inflation and the business community was struggling to combat the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. In these tough times, making phenomenal hikes in POL products would cause manifold increase in the cost of doing business and a bring a fresh wave of high inflation across the country. He urged that the government should avoid taking such harsh decisions and focus on promoting ease of doing business to steer the economy out of current challenges.
Jamshaid Akhtar Sheikh Senior Vice President ICCI said that the petrol price has gone up from around Rs.103/litre in January 2021 to over Rs.145/litre in the first week of September and diesel from around Rs.110/litre to over Rs.142/litre, which was unprecedented increase. He cautioned that such decisions would jeopardize the survival of businesses besides putting unbearable burden on the common man and should be avoided at all costs.
Muhammad Faheem Khan, Vice President, ICCI said that the repeated hikes in the prices of POL products and utility tariffs would shatter the confidence of investors who needed consistency in prices and tariffs to make investment in Pakistan. He stressed that the government should withdraw all taxes and levies on POL products and withdraw the latest hike in the prices of POL products to provide some relief to the people.