LAHORE – All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran President Khalid Pervaiz has said that increase in petroleum prices and electricity will hit all sectors of economy that will jack up the inflation, disturbing the entire economic cycle.

He said that to keep the economic cycle well on track, government would have to shelve the decision to increase oil prices. He said that not only transportation cost of goods would multiply but fares of public transport would also increase manifold.

He said that Government is producing huge amount of electricity through thermal means and after increase in petroleum prices, rates of electricity would touch new heights.

He said that there was no denying the fact that oil prices were on the rise in the international market but instead of passing on this surge to masses, the government should cut the number of taxes on petroleum products as the fuel is the engine of growth. If the fuel would be heavily taxed the entire economy would suffer and the same happened in Pakistan.

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

He said that the whole trade and entire industrial sector was already facing multiple internal and external challenges and any new increase in POL prices would further aggravate the economic situation. The Pak-India bilateral trade particularly through Wagha border route is only benefiting India, as 31,897 truckloads worth Rs21 billion reached Pakistan while only 4,664 trucks, having goods of Rs1.33 billion, were sent to the nuclear rival state during fiscal year 2010-11, they added.

He predicted that Islamabad would have zero benefit out of this move in the shape of adverse impact on local industry.

He said that there would be complete economic surrender to India after liberalizing trade with India by giving it MFN status. He was desirous of good and friendly relations between India and Pakistan but it was not possible without improving the prevailing human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “Granting most favoured nation status to India under the prevailing circumstances tantamount lending credence to bloodshed of innocent Kashmiris,” he said.

“Before beginning trade with India, the issues of Kashmir and water should be resolved,” it said. Khalid Pervaiz said that the traders had for a long time 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 petroleum prices were already at the highest level and any further increase would prove the last straw that breaks the camel’s back.