LAHORE   -  A strategy should be formulated to control inflation without putting pressure on businesses, which would not only support the industry affected by the Corona but also bring down inflation gradually. The government should formulate a comprehensive strategy supportive for the industry in the post-Covid era. Due to unswerving inflation, the prices of basic commodities and utilities have touched new peaks, said Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Mian Tariq Misbah.

These conditions have greatly contributed in increasing the cost of doing business that has made the lives of manufacturers and traders even more difficult. The Government should refrain from stressing the business community and take immediate steps while taking all the stakeholders of economy into confidence to control the price hike. Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Mian Tariq Misbah, Senior Vice President Nasir Hameed Khan and Vice President Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry urged the government to rationalise the facilities given to the industrial sectors in other regional countries to curb the increasing inflation. They underlined the areas where little changes can rapidly change the state of affairs, they said that the 1,021 MMBTU gas is being provided whereas the new connections on RLNG are being provided on higher rates which need to be decreased.

Similarly, they said that the electricity tariffs are higher compared to regional countries which ultimately result in high cost of doing business and inflation. They marked other major reasons which include rupee devaluation, often very fluently and constantly. The phenomenon, where it is easy to predict the

valuation of the currency, many discrepancies involve in business activities which again lead to the inflation.

They said, the interest rate should be decreased further to support the businesses, especially the medium and smaller ones. Water tariff is also high which increases the cost of doing business and leads to inflation. The reduction of import duties to zero per cent on raw materials not manufactured locally can greatly help in controlling the smuggling. The menace of smuggling should be tackled through effective Border Controls as it contributes in increasing inflation, they concluded.