LAHORE-The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the government to bring down energy prices to pass on benefits of decline in oil prices in international market.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar and Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad said that oil prices in international market were at the lowest ebb and fallen well below the $30 per barrel. They said that oil was an important raw material for the industrial sector while country was also producing a major chunk of electricity from oil. Keeping in view the decline of oil prices in the international market, government should bring down the prices in the country.

“It would be a great relief to the industries and traders who are suffering heavily because of countrywide lockdown”, they said. They said that high cost of doing business was one of the major issues being faced by the industrial sector which required support of the government to ensure presence in the international market. Definitely, it would bring much-needed foreign exchange to the country and reduce financial pressure.

They said that agriculture sector would also flourish if prices were reduced.

They said that Pakistan’s agriculture sector was engine of growth. They said that cut in petroleum prices would decrease the input cost of agriculture production as high speed diesel was being used in tractors, tube-wells, harvesters, thrashers and other agriculture machinery. They were of the view that the timeline for reducing the prices was best as all sectors were suffering heavily due to lockdown and closure of businesses. Major cut in prices would provide much needed sustainability. They further stated that Pakistan needed development of renewable energy resources in future. Government should encourage local and foreign investment in this particular sector.

They said that country has vast scope for renewable energy and its promotion will definitely reduce oil import bill besides reducing the cost of doing business and living cost of the common man. They said that solar panels and small wind turbines could easily be installed in residential colonies for power generation.