Business community rejects proposed gas price hike

ISLAMABAD: The business community rejects another gas price hike that is on the cards as it will make life difficult for the masses, a business leader said Wednesday.

The decision to increase the gas price up to 214 per cent will open floodgates for inflation, which will take a toll on people, and the economy, therefore, Prime Minister Imran Khan should reject the decision, he added.

Settling gas sector circular debt of Rs181 billion by burdening the masses is unjustified and it can be termed as a mini-budget, said Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) former president Shahid Rasheed Butt.

He said that gas tariff hike would trigger inflation and increase poverty in the country as it will also increase the tariff of electricity, make production costly and hit exports.

The business leader noted that gas is a very important part of Pakistan’s energy mix therefore; a hike in the tariff will hit almost everyone.

The gas prices for tandoor will go up by 245 per cent while gas for the CNG sector is to get 31 per cent more expensive, the fertiliser sector will see by 153 per cent increase and IPPs, power stations and cement sector will face a 24 per cent hike.

He said that losses of the gas companies are running into billions of rupees due to mismanagement, incompetence and corruption that is shielded through frequent tariff hikes, which is not a sustainable solution.

The government should bring professional, able and honest management in the gas companies and start reforms in the gas sector so that masses can be shielded from a further hike, he demanded.

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