Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry hails cut in petrol prices

Lahore, June 16, 2012 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Saturday while welcoming the decrease in the POL prices has said that it would definitely ensure relief to the masses and help bring down the cost of doing business but at the same time to government should also take measures for provision of uninterrupted supply of electricity that is spoiling the entire business atmosphere.

In statement issued here, the LCCI Acting President Kashif Younis Meher and Vice President Saeeda Nazar said that after a long period, government has passed on the benefit of oil prices decrease in the international market to the users. They said that there was no second opinion about it that it would help bring down the inflation rate in the country.

They said that agriculture sector was the engine of growth. The cut in petroleum prices would bring down the input cost of agriculture production as high speed diesel is being used in tractors, tub-wells, harvesters, thrashers and other agriculture machinery.

They demanded of the government to announce cut in electricity tariff also as a major chunk of electricity was being generated through thermal resources.

Meanwhile, the LCCI office-bearers also demanded of the government to make a considerable cut in the markup rate and bring it to the single digit for the sake of revival of businesses, overcome low-growth scenario, encourage new investments and give a jumpstart to the sluggish economy.

Kashif Younis Meher and Saeeda Nazar said that the availability of cheaper money to the business doing people is a must to bring down the cost of doing business in Pakistan and expedite the process of industrialization that would ultimately result in curtailing poverty, inflation and help in much-needed job creation.

They said that Interest rate in the United States is 0.25 per cent, in UK 0.5 per cent, in Canada 1 per cent, in Australia 3.5 per cent, in Japan 0 per cent, in China 6.56 per cent, in India 8 per cent, in Sri Lanka 7.75 per cent and in Bangladesh 7.75 per cent.

They said that how Pakistani merchandise could get a respectable place in the international market in the presence of such a high mark up that neither has a parallel in the developed world nor in the region.

They said that ongoing economic scenario shows that there is hardly any time left for economic managers of the country to help stop industrial closures and defaults therefore the people sitting at the helm of affairs in the government and the State Bank of Pakistan should understand well that a cut in interest rate would be a great favour to the economy.

The LCCI office-bearers said that the economic meltdown in recent years had already proved that high policy rate had caused a great harm to economy and would continue to widen the fiscal deficit unless and until a realistic approach towards this very important area is adopted.

They said that all the major economies despite having higher inflation rates have either curtailed or are in the process of reducing interest rates to protect their respective economies.

They said that the State Bank of Pakistan should understand that its continued tighter stance is inflicting a very heavy loss on the nation as the economy has already paid a very high price because of high interest rate.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854

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