LAHORE/Rawalpindi  -   The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the government to cut down non-development expenditures instead of dropping petrol bomb.

LCCI office bearers feared dire economic consequences if government increased the prices of petroleum products that were already high and pinching the trade & industry.

LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Vice President Faheem-ur-Rehman Saigal said trade and industry was already struggling for survival. “Industry would not be able to contribute in economic uplift of the country if anti-industry decision is taken”, the LCCI office-bearers said

They said that economic indicators were not in the favor of economy. “No sector would be left unaffected if government goes against the ground realities and increases POL prices, one of the basic raw materials for the industry and a must for trade and economic activities.

Meanwhile, Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Malik Shahid Saleem has demanded the reversal of proposed petroleum price hike by Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), apprehending that the exorbitant raise would unleash the storm of inflation in the country.

He said that international crude oil prices remained stagnant but the government has increased the prices which will severely affect the masses.

At a time when masses are already reeling under skyrocketing inflation (around 9%), the move to raise the petroleum products rates ahead of Ramazan will radiate a negative message and it will double the sufferings of common man, he added.

High speed diesel is widely used in agriculture and transport sectors and therefore increase in its price would have a direct impact on life of a common man due to inflationary impact, he added.

RCCI President said that Pakistan’s manufacturing sector already facing a big challenge on cost competitiveness and given raise in petroleum prices will badly impact the export targets.

He said the petroleum price hike would increase the monthly budget of the common man. He said it would also have a negative effect on the industry and would send prices of different products skyrocketing.

RCCI President apprehended that the new wave of inflation would grip the entire nation with seizing purchasing power, which was widely fared to scale down business activities in the country.

The move is going to crumble the local economy, adding that the small businesses would also fall flat to the inflation that would be unaffordable to any of the traders, said Malik Shahid Saleem.