After the increase in the price of crude oil internationally, the Government of Pakistan from January 1, 2018, also amended the prices of oil products in the country, including petrol, lubricants, and diesel, etc. The hike in prices was heavily criticised by the local consumers as due to rise in the price of oil, the transportation fares as well as rates of all other household items also surged. Right after the government increased the prices, LCCI commonly known as Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry criticised government’s decision and urged it to withdraw its ruling as the current economic condition of the country did not allow for such rash measures/decisions.
The officials of LCCI said that this recent action would affect the industrial and agriculture sector of the country because the increase in oil prices will affect the overall cost of Pakistani products and will be difficult for them to compete in the international market due to high pricing, which will undoubtedly dwindle our exports.
And now after LCCI, ICCI (Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry) has also expressed their concerns over hike in petroleum products and admonished government to withdraw the current increase as it will affect the economic activity in the country as well as the life of the common consumer. The president of ICCI Sheikh Aamir Waheed asserted that country’s trade deficit, and inflation is rising at abnormal speed and with oil prices keep rising the local industry will inevitably fall into slumber, so the government should do the necessary changes to avoid it.
He said that it is true that the price of crude oil has crossed $60/barrel mark, but government instead of raising the prices immediately should keep it slow; moreover to tackle the price increase it should reduce tax and duties on oil products. As our exports keep deteriorating and were at around $21 billion in 2017, our neighbors India and Bangladesh reached $275 billion and $34 billion in the same period, respectively, he said.
Furthermore, Aamir also said that if the government doesn’t take back recent hike in oil prices, the overall economy of the country will surely decrease further. It is to be noted here that many local organizations have warned the government to take back the decision or face harsh strikes across the country. Let’s wait and see how events unfold. Until then stay tuned to PakWheels for more updates.