ISLAMABAD - Ahmed Hassan Moughal, president Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry, has called upon the government to take urgent measures for reducing the cost of doing business to facilitate the growth of business activities.

He said that current government in its first month has increased gas tariff from 40 percent to 143 percent while it was now considering to enhance electricity and oil prices which was a cause of great concern for the business community.

He said that such measures of the government would further enhance the production cost that would badly affect business activities, cause further decline in exports and roll back all efforts aimed at improving the overall economy.

Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that in successful countries, energy cost was set at affordable level for private sector to spur production, investment, trade, exports and economic growth. He said energy cost for industrial and commercial sectors in Pakistan was already highest in the region due to which our exports were facing stiff competition in the international market.

He said that Pakistan was facing high trade and fiscal deficits and the best way to overcome these twin deficits was to facilitate the growth of trade and exports. However, the steps of the government to further hike electricity and oil prices would have highly negative impact on exports bringing more harmful consequences for the economy.

He urged that the government should refrain from making any further hike in electricity and oil prices to save the economy from further troubles.