LAHORE – The business community Tuesday termed the government decision to cut petrol prices by Rs2 per litter an eyewash and a joke with the inflation-hit nation.

In a joint press statement issued here, Chairman Lahore Township Industries Association Iftikhar Bashir Chaudhry, former Chairman Haroon Shafiq Chaudhry, Tahir Javed Malik, Iqbal Chughtai, Fida Hussain, Chaudhry Zaheer Bhutta, Mian Nauman Kabir, Sheikh Muhammad Ayub and Babar Mahmood Chaudhry said that government should withdraw the recent massive increase in POL prices otherwise business community would be bound to agitate the government’s anti-business policies. They said that the recent hike in the POL prices were the most cruel and unjustified decision of the government. They said that it would not only cripple the trade and industry but would also squeeze the poor masses.

They said that petroleum prices were already at the highest level and the recent increase would prove the last straw on the camel’s back. The increase would hit all the sectors of the economy and would also jack up the inflation and resultant hike in markup rates and disturb the entire economy.

They said that due to high cost of doing business in Pakistan, a large number of industrial units had already shifted their operation to other countries and recent decision would force more industrialists to follow the suit.

The entire industrial sector was already facing multiple internal and external challenges and any new increase in POL prices would further aggravate the economic situation.

Pakistan agriculture sector is engine of growth. The increase in petroleum prices would increase the input cost of agriculture production as high-speed diesel is being used in tractors, tube-wells, harvesters, thrashers and other agriculture machinery.