LAHORE - The business community has hailed the reduction in the prices of petroleum products in the second consecutive month but asked the provincial governments and other agencies concerned to also come ahead and ensure trickle down effect of this sharp fall of oil prices.

”The government should put in place a strict system of check and balance to ensure that any reduction in petroleum prices should also be reflected in other edible rates as well as in transport fares.”

President United Business Group and vice President South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iftikhar Ali Malik said reduction in petroleum prices would provide relief to the industry. He said survival of a country only depended on sound economy, which needed peaceful atmosphere, better law and order and business friendly environment.

Malik urged the political parties to accord top priority to peaceful atmosphere in the country, which was a pre-requisite for sustainable economic growth.

He appreciated federal Cabinet’s decision significantly decreasing the prices of petroleum products including petrol and diesel. This step would benefit all level of business besides to benefit the common man.

He appealed to transporters to cut their fares/transport charges so the people get goods, especially the essential items at low prices along with relief in their routine travelling bill.

Industry would definitely benefit from reduction in POL prices mainly in Punjab where most of the industrial units generate electricity by using diesel to meet their energy needs.

IEP Lahore Centre chairman Engineer Khalid Sajjad observed that the real benefit of cut in petroleum rates could not be passed on to general public and it seemed that transporters as well as other trade mafias are so strong that provincial governments could not force them to make necessary reduction in prices.

The reduction of total 19 per cent in petroleum prices in two months is still not a reflection of the huge drop of around 30 per cent oil price in the international market in last 6 months, stated Khalid Sajjad.

He asked the government to announce a further reduction of 10 per cent, in coming days, to make it in line with the international prices. The government should also announce cut in power tariff in line with reduction in oil prices as around 70 per cent of electricity is generated through oil.

The permanent solution of controlling inflation is to erect big dams with a view to generate cheaper electricity through hydel ways, besides saving billions of rupees import bill of oil, he maintained.

LCCI former vice president Kashif Anwar said that for our economic managers this is a great opportunity as lower oil bill will give them a much-needed sigh of relief as falling oil prices ease pressure on balance of payment position.

Kashif demanded of the government to take steps for overcoming the power crisis due to unscheduled gas and power loadshedding as it has become impossible for the industrialists to meet the export targets.

He urged the government to take measures for improving the law and order, which was adversely affecting the national economy.

He maintained the government should work for further cut in oil prices as crude price in international market has dropped to more than 30 percent.

Kh Khawar Rasheed, the PML-N Traders Wing vice president, said that all industrialists and traders hailed the government’s initiative of introducing a major cut in petroleum prices and termed it a business-friendly and people-friendly move.  He said the reduction in petroleum prices would reduce cost of production that would ultimately extend a direct benefit to the people.