Lahore: President ABF Salim Ghauri has worried over increase in POL and energy prices, foreseeing a negative impact on Pakistan economy.
It will also trigger inflation in a situation when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is already ranging in double digit due to rupee depreciation and oil price hike, he said.
Salim said the production cost of manufacturing sector would hit through the roof further with present increase in oil prices, turning many businesses unviable particularly those heavily dependent on uninterrupted energy supply.
Further, he added, transportation cost would also spiral up that would have negative impact on viability of different businesses. Already, the ghee manufacturers are on strike against everyday increase in transport fare from Karachi port to the upcountry destinations.
President ABF pointed out that the general industry is under severe pressure due to long hours load shedding of both electricity and gas. Thermal generation cost is reaching to abnormal levels due to high oil prices. Hydel part of power generation is shrinking fast due to dismal developments on new projects. Leading Chambers of Commerce and Industry besides the sectoral associations are agitating and protesting against unprecedented energy crisis. Production capacities are down. Labour is out of job. Bank mark ups are unmanageable for industry.
Salim has suggested that the government should delink the oil prices from international market and manage it domestically. The international oil prices are determined on multiple factors including speculations and supply side fears oozing out of possible Iran conflict. The fragile consumers of a weak economy like Pakistan cannot be left unattended in front of merciless international investors, stockiest and speculators, he stressed.
And if not, President ABF said, the government should ensure presence of all stakeholders in the OGRA for determining oil prices after every fortnight.
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