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Hike in prices of petroleum products to further fuel inflation

2023 Sep 17, 15:41, Islamabad [Pakistan]
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Business leaders on Saturday said the massive increase in prices of petroleum products would further fuel inflation, intensify misery for the common man and create serious issues for the industry due to the unbearably high cost of doing business, Pakistan-based Dawn reported.

Business leaders criticised the Pakistan caretaker government and said that it should have kept the prices of petroleum unchanged due to the falling landing cost of imported crude on account of the continued increase in the rupee's strength against the dollar in the last eight interbank sessions despite rising crude oil prices in the world market.

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that the rupee closed at Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 296.85 for a dollar in the interbank on Friday, showcasing over PKR 10 to a dollar gain which reached PKR 307.10 on September 5, according to Dawn report.

Sheikh recalled that the apex chamber had forewarned the authorities several times over the past few months to address the problems in the import of Russian crude. However, the authorities did not pay heed to the FPCCI and currently, Pakistan would have more Russian crude by now, which is cheaper by a 40 per cent in comparison to international markets today.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Business Council (PBC) chief executive officer Ehsan Malik said that with a rise in the global cost of fuel and Pakistan's high degree of dependence on imports, a price revision was inevitable.

Malik said, "We can’t afford to lower taxes to buffer the impact of rising global cost of fuel. Besides, we have commitments to the IMF to deliver," Dawn reported.

Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president Mohammad Tariq Yousuf said that it has become almost impossible to run industries at such a high cost. It was the fourth consecutive rise in petroleum prices while the petrol price during the tenure of the caretaker government has been raised by more than PKR 58 per litre, which will 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.

As per the news report, people were already overburdened due to the recent rise in electricity tariffs which is aggravated by the recent rise in petroleum prices, causing severe anxiety amongst the masses and business community, Dawn reported.

Tariq Yousuf emphasised that the emerging situation has to be efficiently addressed and handled very carefully otherwise, the rising petroleum prices and electricity tariffs would continue to increase the cost of doing business, which would terribly impact the industrial performance, raise unemployment and open the floodgates of inflation.

On Friday, the Pakistan caretaker government on Friday announced another hike in the prices of petrol by Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 26.02 per litre and high-speed diesel by PKR 17.34 per litre, Dawn reported.

The rise in the rate brings the price of petrol to PKR 333.38 per litre and the rate of high-speed diesel is PKR 329.18 per litre. Pakistan's Ministry of Finance announced the increase in the price of petrol and high-speed diesel, according to Dawn report.

Pakistan's Ministry of Finance said that the decision was taken due to the increasing trend of petrol prices in the international market. No revision of price was mentioned regarding the price of kerosene or light diesel oil, the report said.

The rise in the price of petrol and high-speed diesel after the previous massive hike on September 1, when the Pakistan interim government increased fuel prices by up to PKR 18 per litre. The rise in petroleum prices had come after similar hikes by the Pakistan interim government on August 15. (ANI)


business leaders petroleum products price FPCCI FPCCI President KCCI KCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh petrol price Pakistan
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