LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Saturday urged the government to withdraw recent hike in oil prices that is bound to jack up cost of doing business in the country.
In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that there is no denying the fact that oil prices are 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.
He said if the fuel would be heavily taxed, the entire economy would suffer and the same happens in Pakistan. He said that only because of high cost of doing business in Pakistan, a large number of industrial units have already shifted their operations to other countries and the recent decision would force more industrialists to shift their industrial units.
He said that it is not the industrial sector alone but the agriculture sector would also badly suffer. He said, “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.
LCCI Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad said that the government is producing huge amount of electricity through thermal means and after increase in petroleum prices, prices of electricity would touch new highs.
They were of the view that the timeline for the increase in the prices of petroleum products is also raising questions because at a time when the whole industry is suffering due to coronavirus, the raise in POL prices is bound to give a big blow to the industry.
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