Shaikhani has strongly criticised the ECC’s decision to implement a 65% increase in gas prices.

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President of the Hyderabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry, Muhammad Farooq Shaikhani, has strongly criticised the Economic Coordination Committee’s decision to implement a 65% increase in gas prices. He deemed it disastrous for the industries and questioned the moral justification of the caretaker federal government, especially after the 2024 elections.

Shaikhani highlighted that the additional burden of 242 billion rupees imposed on consumers is solely to comply with IMF conditions, emphasising the adverse impact on businesses and the public. The revised gas prices, reaching Rs.100 per MMBTU for protected consumers, Rs.300 per MMBTU for non-protected consumers and Rs.900 per MMBTU for bulk consumers, are seen as detrimental to the already struggling industries in Pakistan.

The President expressed deep concern for Hyderabad’s renowned glass bangle industry, which faced challenges such as gas load shedding and previous price hikes. This led to the closure of 80% of factories and unemployment for over 2 lac individuals. Shaikhani fears that the remaining factories will also shut down with the latest 65% increase, exacerbating unemployment in Hyderabad.

Shaikhani criticised the caretaker government’s plan to meet IMF conditions, stating that it would result in the closure of industries, employee layoffs, a potential rise in street crimes, and bankruptcy of manufacturing units, all negatively impacting the country’s economy.

He urged leaders and political parties to reconsider the decision, emphasising that utilities are not exploited for economic gains in developed countries.

Shaikhani asserted that the government should provide essential facilities to promote industry growth, rather than escalating gas and electricity prices without proper planning.

In conclusion, President Muhammad Farooq Shaikhani called upon all political leaders and rulers to promptly withdraw the gas price increase to restore confidence within the business community and encourage collaborative efforts to stabilise Pakistan’s economy.

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