Oil hike to hit economy hard

Lahore, August 23, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Thursday urged the government to withdraw recent hike in oil prices that is bound to jack up cost of doing business in Pakistan.

In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that there was no denying the fact that oil prices were on the rise in the international market but instead of passing on this surge to masses, the government should cut the number of taxes on petroleum products as the fuel is the engine of growth.

“If the fuel would be heavily taxed the entire economy would suffer and the same happened in Pakistan as the repeated increases in the POL prices had ruined the industrial and economic activities.”

The LCCI President said that only because of high cost of doing business in Pakistan, a large number of industrial units had already shifted their operations to other countries and the recent decision would force more industrialists to shift their industrial units.

Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that it is not the industrial sector alone buit thye agriculture sector would also badly suffer.

“Pakistan agriculture sector is engine of growth. The increase in petroleum prices would increase the input cost of agriculture production as high speed diesel is being used in tractors, tube-wells, harvesters, thrashers and other agriculture machinery. He said that the cost of thermal generation by private sector to go up.

He said that Government is producing huge amount of electricity through thermal means and after increase in petroleum prices, prices of electricity would touch new highs.

Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry had for the last many years been calling on the concerned government circles to take measures for the promotion of alternate fuels as trade deficit was fast widening due to heavy imports under the head of petroleum products.

He was of the view that the timeline for the increase in the prices of petroleum products was also raising questions because at a time when the whole industry was suffering due to energy crisis and high cost of doing business, the raise in POL prices is bound to give a death blow to the industry. “It seems that it is an attempt to create troubles for the government.”

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854

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