LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has expressed dismay over negative response regarding POL prices and feared of dire economic consequences of increase in petroleum product prices.
“The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry rejects POL price hike and logic for this initiative given by the Ministry of Finance”, said the LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid, Senior Vice President Malik Tahir Javaid and Vice President Zeshan Khalil in a statement.
“Why comparison just for POL prices, why not in all economic sectors? Exports of India, Bangladesh and Turkey have been crossed $ 268.6 billion, $ 34.14 billion and $ 150.2 billion respectively while Pakistan is running with just around $ 21 billion. Industries in those countries are playing freely and enjoying the status of state-partner while Pakistani industrial sector is struggling for survival”, the LCCI office-bearers said.
They said that logic has been given for POL price hike that oil prices in international market are soaring. They said it is true that oil prices in the international market are rising but it would be better if government cuts duties, taxes levied on petroleum products and reduces huge non-development expenditures.
The LCCI office-bearers said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry well before the time asked the government to avoid increase in POL prices as current economically condition does not allow such measures.
They said that industrial sector would be immediate victim of the hike in POL prices as it is one of the major raw materials of the industries. They said that industrial production and movement of raw materials and trading goods would be more costly and reduce the competitiveness of Pakistani goods in the international market and put the government’s initiatives in reverse for boosting exports.
They said that POL price increase will also add to the complexities of the agriculture sector which is already in a bad state-of-affairs because of water scarcity and various. They said that 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. They said that the cost of thermal generation by private sector to go up. The LCCI office-bearers 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.
They urged the government to withdraw recent huge hike in POL prices to avert huge economic losses and to win the trust of trade, industry and masses otherwise anti governments sentiments would rise.