LAHORE Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) has strongly criticised the repeated increases in petroleum prices and said that it is an ample proof of governments non-seriousness towards the wellbeing of the masses who are suffering due to multiple reasons. Chairman PIAF Sohail Lashari, while strongly reacting on this anti-industry and anti-masses decision, said that government did not ever bother to pass on the benefit of decrease of oil prices in international market and earned billion rupees, which was a sheer injustice and now again made a huge raise. He said that PIAF had for the last many months been calling on the concerned government circles to take measures for the promotion of alternate fuels as trade deficit was fast widening due to heavy imports under the head of petroleum products. He said that the timeline for the increase in the prices of petroleum products was also raising questions. He said that at a time when the whole industry was suffering due to energy crisis and high cost of doing business, the raise in POL prices was bound to give a further blow to the industry. PIAF Chairman demanded of the government remove unnecessary taxes and duties from petroleum products right now otherwise industry would be collapsed within no time. Sohail Lashari also urged the government to ensure early completion of Pak-Iran Gas Pipeline project and Bhasha Dam project to fulfil the energy needs of the country. They said that around 40 per cent of the industrial units in Punjab run on gas and gas suspension means no production by almost half of the industry and a loss of millions of rupees to the exchequer. Responding to a question on gas shortage, he said that the 'discriminatory attitude of the government was not only denting its goodwill and reputation but had also put a question mark on its ability to manage and govern things. He said that the units in Sindh were getting an almost uninterrupted supply except a two- to-three hour loadshedding. Pointing out that the gas suspension plan a death knell for export-based industry and productivity, he sought the Prime Ministers intervention and help for a regular supply of gas to the industry in Punjab. He said that huge capital worth Rs180 billion has already been shifted to only Malaysia during the last eight years. He said that the recent hike in power tariff is bound to further jack-up the manufacturing cost of Pakistani merchandise and resultantly the country would become a trading hub. He said that instead of increasing power tariff, the government should concentrate on cheaper means of power generation including coal-based power generation houses and through furnace oil. He said that Kalabagh dam was the most excellent solution of the power crisis but present regime shelved the project with a one stroke of pen. He said that Pakistan could generate thousands megawatt electricity through coal and other alternate resources. Only Sindh has 185 billion tone reserves of coal but government is spending $ 13 billion annually on the import of oil and generating electricity thorugh costly furnace oil operated power plants. They said that it could be eye-opener for the people sitting on the helm of affairs that Bangladesh is generating sufficient solar electricity and providing to more than one million houses while situation in Pakistan is quite vice versa.