PPI Original Text (PPI-OT) – Government must control spiralling oil import bill: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Islamabad, May 23, 2012 (PPI-OT): Payments for oil import bill is the key factors that has put pressure on our fragile economy, adds to the electricity generation cost, hitting hard the ordinary consumers as well as raising the cost of production for manufacturers.

Government should give immediate attention to run the existing power units by converting them form expensive fuels to cheaper options like coal-fired deriving coal from Thar coal fields and other renewable energy sources for cutting the oil import bill, Yassar Sakhi Butt, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has stated this in a statement.

ICCI President expressed concern over soaring oil import bill by 43.52 per cent to reach $12.583 billion during the first ten months of the outgoing financial year 2011-2012 against $8.768 billion in the same period of last year and said that that oil imports comprise almost 40 percent of Pakistan’s total import bill that resulting in a huge trade deficit thus puts pressure on the local currency.

He was of the view that Government could also curtail oil import bill by availing Iranian offer to supply 80,000 barrel crude oil daily and also by completing Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline for which Iran is willing to provide US$250 million to take care of foreign exchange component of pipeline.

Yassar Sakhi Butt also highlighted the problem of circular debt that has swelled to Rs.670billion becoming a big threat to economic survival of the country. He said that every passing day the country is sinking deeper and deeper into economic mire which needs an economic stimulus plan to get it back on track.

ICCI President said that any further increase in oil import bill would fuel inflation in the country and disturb the balance of payments. If this trend continued, rupee would come further under pressure, therefore, he stressed upon the Government to take urgent measures to bring some stability in the falling value of rupee by controlling oil import bill.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526 and 225 3145
Fax: +9251 225 2950
Email: icci@brain.net.pk
Website: www.icci.com.pk

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