KCCI Expresses Displeasure over Hike in Petroleum Prices

KCCI Expresses Displeasure over Hike in Petroleum Prices

Karachi, July 1, 2024 – Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has voiced strong discontent over the recent hike in petroleum prices, marking a significant escalation in costs for businesses and the general public alike.

The increase, effective for the first fortnight of July 2024, saw petroleum and diesel prices surge by Rs. 7.45 and Rs. 9.56 respectively.

In a statement issued on Monday, KCCI President Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh expressed profound disappointment over the government’s decision. He highlighted that this abrupt rise in fuel prices will not only inflate the cost of conducting business operations but also exacerbate financial burdens across all sectors of society.

“It appears that the government has chosen to offload the entire weight of an underperforming economy onto industries and the vulnerable public,” remarked KCCI President Sheikh. He emphasized that amidst widespread economic distress and inflation, the government’s failure to mitigate the impact by moderating the petroleum development levy is deeply troubling.

KCCI President Sheikh criticized the recent federal budget for imposing heavy taxes on various fronts, which have already strained businesses and salaried individuals. He warned that the cumulative effect of these measures, compounded by soaring petroleum prices, could severely hamper industrial production and lead to further price hikes across essential household commodities.

“The relentless decisions in the budget, coupled with persistent high energy tariffs, are squeezing both industries and the public, fostering widespread discontent,” he asserted. KCCI President Sheikh cautioned that if such policies persist, public dissatisfaction could escalate into widespread protests against the government’s perceived anti-public and anti-business stance.

Calling for immediate action, President Sheikh urged the government to swiftly implement structural reforms aimed at enhancing governance, curbing non-essential expenditures, broadening the tax base, and fostering public-private partnerships. He stressed that these measures are crucial for stimulating sustainable economic growth and alleviating the mounting burdens on businesses and the public.

“In light of the severity of the situation, urgent steps are needed to reduce the costs of industrial inputs such as electricity, gas, and petroleum products,” President Sheikh emphasized. He underscored the necessity of revitalizing the economy and safeguarding businesses from imminent collapse by swiftly addressing these critical issues.

The KCCI’s strong stance underscores the growing apprehension within the business community regarding the economic policies impacting their operations and the broader economy. As stakeholders await governmental response, the focus remains on achieving a balanced approach that supports economic recovery while easing the burden on businesses and the public.