LAHORE - The increase in gas tariff by over 45 percent, which has been sought by the SNGPL and SSGC from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), would cause devastating repercussions upon the national economy, ousting the export-oriented industries from the international market.

These apprehensions were expressed by Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh. He said that the government has no justification for making tariff hike in when the export industry is already uncompetitive and exports are constantly declining. He argued that the contention which has been portrayed by gas companies time and again that their prices are cheaper than several other countries is fallacious and illogical because the prices quoted by them are not co-related with the cost of living index and hence do not depict the true picture.

He said that the industrial productions are already low and any further increase in gas prices is bound to cause irreparable loss to the overall economy. He said that if the input cost for doing business in Pakistan would be higher than that of neighbouring countries, who would convince the foreign investors to put their money in any new venture in Pakistan. He said that power shortage had already pushed the industrial sector to the wall and a large number of industrial workers had lost their jobs, the government should avoid any anti-industry step. He out-rightly rejected the increase in gas tariff and said that it would be better if the gas companies control line losses, introduce efficiency in their system and control gas theft.