ISLAMABAD (APP) - The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Monday urged the government to withdraw increase in gas prices to strengthen the industry and trade activities. "Industry could grow and become cost competitive in the regional and international markets, if government reduces gas prices," ICCI President Mehfooz Elahi said in a statement issued here, while commenting on raise in gas prices by 13.5 percent. The ICCI President termed the raise as an unwise move that would increase cost of doing business and consequently hit industrial production and affect exports. "Economy was still struggling for recovery and it was the need of the hour that government should have focused on reducing cost of doing business instead of increasing gas prices many times during the last two years," ICCI President said. He said that repeated increase in the prices of gas in recent past has badly eroded Pakistan's competitiveness due to which the country was losing attraction for investment and this situation would further destabilize the economy. He said that the government should consider reducing the power tariffs rather than burdening the business community and the common man with the unprecedented increase in gas prices. Meanwhile, FPCCI and LCCI on Monday criticised hike in gas, power and petroleum prices, saying these will lead to higher cost of production. FPCCI President Senator Haji Ghulam Ali told APP that increase in gas, power and petroleum products prices would disturb the manufacturers, already hard hit by gas, power loadshedding and weak Pak rupee. All this would hamper the industrial production in the country and lead to cut in export orders, he said.