ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has resented the yet another hike in the prices of POL products and called upon the government to immediately withdraw them as it was an anti-business and anti-people decision that would cause manifold increase in the cost of doing business and bring unbearable miseries to the common man.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Pakistan was producing major chunk of energy from thermal fuel and hike in POL prices would further increase the electricity cost that would be unaffordable for business and industry. They said the recent hike just before the Holy Month of Ramazan would badly squeeze purchasing power of common man leading to great slump in business activities. They said that exorbitant hike in diesel price will further enhance transportation and production costs due to which agricultural, manufacturing and other sectors of the economy would badly suffer. They said the move would also discourage new investment in the country as no investor would like to invest in a country where cost of doing business was very high.
The ICCI Office Bearers said that government has also increased sales tax on POL products that was a great injustice to the business community and the general public. They said that government has made POL products a key source of tax revenue generation that was totally unjustified. They stressed that government should immediately bring down high taxes on POL products and focus on expanding tax net to improve tax revenue.
Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that the economy of Pakistan was already facing many challenges due to rising trade deficit, falling exports, dwindling tax revenue and increasing debts. In these circumstances, giving further hike to POL products would make our exports more uncompetitive in international market and cause further dip in exports. He said that instead of taking measures that would directly affect the general public, business sector and the overall economy, government should focus on creating an enabling environment for private sector and avoid taking decisions that would prove more harmful for the economy.