ISLAMABAD – Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has strongly criticised upon the Government as it has dropped additional petrol and CNG bombs on the people by approving a hefty increase in the prices of most petroleum products and CNG.

Yassar Sakhi Butt, President ICCI expressed grave concern on Monday over the rapidly swelling power sector circular debt that has touched an alarming level of Rs.670 billion showing an increase of 63 percent since 2008.

He said that the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Water and Power should take urgent steps to make the payments to address the rapidly deteriorating energy situation. ICCI president said that that people in general and the industry in particular; continue to suffer due to doubling of the price of POL products in the last four years.

Yassar Sakhi Butt was of the view that circular debt has been caused by government entities like railway, PIA, Pakistan Steel Mill etc, including the provincial and federal government departments not paying their utility bills, resulting in the power companies being cash-strapped and unable to pay for the fuel for their generation plants. 

He asserted that there was a need to evolve a new policy to attract private sector investment in energy sector to overcome the gap between the demand for energy and its supply.

ICCI president said that Government decision of revising the prices of petroleum products on weekly basis has created multiple problems for the trade and industry as business community would not be able to calculate return on investment when the cost of doing business would be fluctuating on weekly basis and said that we would strongly condemn this decision at every forum. He said that the transportation cost of goods as well as fares of public transport had already increased manifold due to increase in POL and CNG prices.  He stressed upon the Government to reduce POL and CNG rates immediately to facilitate trade and industry as well as general masses.