Muhammad Shakeel Munir, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has slammed the government decision to make yet another hike in the prices of petroleum products taking them to almost highest level in the history of the country that would entail harmful consequences for business activities and unleash a new wave of record inflation for the common man. He urged that the government should immediately withdraw this unwise decision to save the businesses and the people from dire consequences. He said this while addressing an emergent meeting of the business community that was called to discuss this burning issue.
Muhammad Shakeel Munir said that the petrol price has been hiked by about Rs.12, high speed diesel and kerosene oil by around Rs.10 and LDO by over Rs.9 per taking these prices to the record high level in country’s history. He said that the government has also increased petroleum levy by Rs.4/litre in these tough times and all these hikes were being made to appease the IMF, which has raised many questions on our sovereignty. He said that hike in petrol and diesel prices would make a manifold increase in the energy and transport costs due to which the cost of doing business would multiply. He questioned who would do business and invest in Pakistan at a time when the government was making frequent hikes in utility tariffs and POL products. He stressed that the government should make drastic cuts in all non-development expenditures and provide some relief to inflation-stricken people. He urged that in these difficult times, 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 and Muhammad Faheem Khan Vice President ICCI said that petrol price has gone up from around Rs.103/litre to around Rs.160/litre and diesel from around Rs.110/litre to around Rs.154/litre from January 2021 to February 2022, which was a record increase. They 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. They stressed that the government should withdraw all taxes and petroleum levy on POL products and withdraw the latest hike in the prices of POL products to provide some relief to the people.