In­crease in POL prices to high busi­nesses: LCCI

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL - Mazhar Ab­bas OKARA

Gov­ern­ment should not even think about any in­crease in petroleum prices at this crit­i­cal stage when all in­di­ca­tors are not in fa­vor of econ­omy. No sec­tor would be left un­af­fected if gov­ern­ment goes against the ground re­al­i­ties and in­creases POL (petroleum) prices that is one of the ma­jor raw ma­te­ri­als for the in­dus­try and a must for trade and eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties.

In a state­ment, the LCCI Pres­i­dent Ma­lik Tahir Javaid, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent Khawaja Khawar Rashid and Vice Pres­i­dent Ze­shan Khalil said that any in­crease in POL prices will badly dis­turb the in­dus­trial, trade, eco­nomic and so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties.

"Gov­ern­ment should cut down non-devel­op­ment ex­pen­di­tures in­stead of drop­ping petrol bomb on the trade and in­dus­try which is al­ready strug­gling for sur­vival. In­dus­try would not be able to con­trib­ute in eco­nomic up­lift of the coun­try if anti-in­dus­try de­ci­sion is taken", the LCCI of­fice-bear­ers said.

The LCCI of­fice-bear­ers said that though oil prices in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket are on the rise but in­stead of pass­ing this surge to the trade, in­dus­try and masses, gov­ern­ment should cut the num­ber of taxes and du­ties levied on petroleum prod­ucts.

They said that it is not the in­dus­trial sec­tor alone but the agri­cul­ture sec­tor would also badly suf­fer.

They said that 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 agricul- ture 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 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.

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