LAHORE - The traders have said that if the government is eager to enhance bilateral trade with India, firstly it should import cheaper, petroleum products and electricity from there.

This demand was made during a reception hosted by Anjuman-e-Tajiran Garhi Shahu Board in honour of the office-bearers of the APAT Lahore chapter here.

The reception was attended by Anjuman-e-Tajiran Garhi Shahu Board president Malik Tahir, APAT central general secretary Naeem Mir, Rana Shahbaz, Shahid Bilal and APAT Punjab president Mehboob Sirki.

Addressing the meeting APAT general secretary Naeem Mir said that diesel has crossed Rs100 per liter in Pakistan while in India it is available for Rs77 (Pakistani rupee) per liter.

Electricity is being provided to Indian growers at Re1 per unit and in Pakistan it is not less than Rs9.38 per unit, he said.

Criticizing the allocation of Rs840 billion for uplift project in budget 2012-13, he said the federal govt wants to get favour of its MPs, as more than 60 per cent amount of this allocation would be wasted in corruption.

He asked the govt to take solid steps in the upcoming budget to resolve the issue of mounting circular debt, as it’s the only short-term measure to end loadshedding from the country.

APAT Punjab president Mehboob Sirki, APAT Lahore president Shahid Bilal and Chairman Rana Shahbaz while addressing the meeting, said that govt has increased power tariff by 130 per cent during last four years. They said that that provision of furnace oil to the power units and payments to the private power producers could eliminate the 14-15 hours load shedding but government is not serious to resolve the issue. “How could those people feel the miseries of the business doing people and masses whose assets are lying and children are living abroad. They said that it was almost impossible for them to continue business in the presence of 16 hours loadshedding. They said that workers are losing their jobs but government is playing the role of silent spectator.