LAHORE – The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Monday urged the government to withdraw recent massive hike in oil prices that is bound to jack up cost of doing business in Pakistan.

In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, Senior Vice President Kashif Younis Meher and Vice President Saeeda Nazar 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 as the repeated increases in the POL prices had ruined the industrial and economic activities.”

They 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 shift their industrial units.

They said that it is not the industrial sector alone but the agriculture sector would also badly suffer. “Pakistan agriculture sector is engine of growth.

The increase in petroleum prices would increase the input cost of agriculture production. He said that the cost of thermal generation by private sector to go up.

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

 They said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry had for the last many years 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.