President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Mohammad Tariq Yousuf has expressed deep concern over the staggering hike in prices of petroleum products which would further fuel the already skyrocketing inflation, intensify miseries for common man and create serious issues for the industry due to unbearably high cost of doing business.
In a statement issued, President KCCI pointed out that it was a matter of grave concerns that petrol has been enhanced by Rs26 per liter and diesel by Rs17.34, resulting in shooting up petrol price to a whopping Rs331.38 per liter and diesel to Rs329.18 per liter which was totally unacceptable as it has become almost impossible run the industries at such a high cost. This was the fourth consecutive hike in petroleum prices whereas during the tenure of Caretaker government alone, the petrol price has been raised by more than Rs58 per liter, which was going to create a lot of problems for the already ailing economy as the production has been curtailed by many industrial units to a great extent due to high cost, he added.
President KCCI said that the general public was already overburdened because of the recent increase in electricity tariffs which is aggravated by the extraordinary upsurge in petroleum prices, triggering severe anxiety not only amongst the masses but also the business and industrial community.
He opined that keeping in view the economic crises being faced by the country, the government has to take harsh steps in order to generate the required revenue for overcoming expenditures and fulfilling international commitments but instead of taking these steps back-to-back, they should devise some kind of an effective strategy to ensure some sigh of relief to the masses and the industry who will not be able to bear the brunt caused by consecutive price hikes.
Tariq Yousuf stressed that the emerging situation has to be efficiently addressed and handled very carefully otherwise, the rising petroleum prices and electricity tariffs will continue to increase the cost of doing business, which would terribly affect the industrial performance, raise unemployment and open the floodgates of inflation, particularly for the middle and lower segments of the society, besides making the poor poorer due to unbearable inflation.
He said that the increase in petroleum prices will also bring a negative effect on transportation charges of import-exports cargo, electricity fuel adjustment charges, maintenance cost and other expenditures, which would collectively affect the cost of finished goods and make manufacturing & exports sectors uncompetitive in the international market.
He hoped that the government would review the overall inflationary situation and accordingly take steps to somehow ease the burden on common man’s life and the industry as well in the larger interest of the country and the already ailing economy, which would be warmly welcomed by the people belonging to all walks of life.