rawalpindi - The President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Malik Shahid Saleem said that the recent increase in gas price and rupee devaluation has created unrest among the masses. The prevailing economic uncertainty in the country is damaging the investor’s trust and stressed that government should take urgent measures to end volatility and bring stability in the local currency. He said this while addressing a ceremony hosted in the honor of Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) at a local hotel on Friday.

The rupee fall, high transportation cost and sharp decline in foreign reserves will open a new wave of inflation in the country and demanded of the government to reduce gas and petrol prices, so that relief could be provided to the common man. FPCCI President Ghazanfar Bilour in his address said that the rise in dollar rate would lead to costlier imports and the exporters will also bear the brunt due to rise in the cost of imported raw materials, plunging the economy into a further deeper crisis.

UBG Patron in Chief SM Munir and Chairman Iftikhar Malik in their address urged government to provide a conducive environment for business in the country. The growing problem of unemployment can only be addressed once we have more industries in the country. Former President Sohail Altaf said that the recent increase in gas price and new slabs will ultimately double the production cost of the industrial goods which will directly affect the key export sectors like steel, cement and fertilizer. There is a need to bring reforms in taxation and said that traders’ are not against the taxes, but they are against harassment in the name of tax collection and audits from FBR. He urged the government to respect filers and tax payers.

Harsh steps should be taken against non-filers and tax avoiders, he added. While showing resentment on government economic policies he also urged the government to include representatives from Chambers of Commerce and trade bodies in Economic Advisory Council. He said that the business community being the key stakeholder has been ignored and it was unfortunate that not a single person from Federation (FPCCI), Chambers of Commerce or trade bodies was included in the EAC. Senior Vice President Badar Haroon, Vice President Fayyaz Qureshi, group leader Sohail Altaf, former presidents and members were also present on the occasion.