(4 July, 2018)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of and former provincial of Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that high rise in prices of petroleum products will highly increase the cost of doing business ultimately affecting all industries equally. Prices of POL have risen on June 20 this year and again with a difference of only 10 days, prices are again increased. High octane prices are increased by Rs. 27, premium by Rs. 7.54, hi-speed diesel by Rs. Rs. 14, light-speed diesel by Rs. 5.92 and kerosene oil by Rs. 3.36 making the current prices of high octane to Rs. 114.70, petrol to Rs. 99.5, hi-speed diesel to Rs. 119.31, light speed diesel to Rs. 80.91 and kerosene oil to Rs. 87.70 respectively. Collective increase in prices since June 20 is Rs. 11.80 in petrol, Rs. 20.55 in hi-speed diesel, Rs. 12.05 in light speed diesel and Rs. 7.83 in kerosene oil prices respectively, which is unbearable considering the declining economy of the Country.
The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that increase in prices of oil products will directly affect the products where petroleum products are used as raw material and will indirectly affect all industries as their cost of transportation, manufacturing and processing will rise. This increase in cost of products will ultimately draw adverse affect on every sector and the burden will shift to common masses.
The former minister said higher oil prices will have destructive impacts on emerging economy of Pakistan as it will cause inflation and consumers’ products will get expensive. Investment ratio will decline in the Country due to rise in petrol prices which will slower the industrial and economic growth process of Pakistan. Instead of increasing Country’s revenue by increasing prices of petroleum products, Government should form public friendly policies and should take other measures to stable the economy of the Country; unnecessary expenditures should be avoided and reduced.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that to curtail the impact of increased oil prices, Government should give subsidy on gas and electricity to the export oriented industries to increase Country’s exports and attain the level of economic and industrial stability thus opens the possibilities of increased foreign exchange reserves. Purchasing power of public has reduced due to inflation caused by rise in oil prices which seems to affect the productivity of SME sector in particular and will adversely affect the entire business community.