APBF flays frequent jump in petroleum and power prices

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) warns that exorbitant prices of electricity, gas and petroleum products will make local products uncompetitive globally.

Rejecting the frequent increase in gas, electricity and petroleum products, the APBF President Syed Maaz Mahmood said at a time of unsatisfactory export volumes and low industrial growth, the hike in electricity base tariffs for the industry, especially for the SMEs, was really surprising. If the decision is not withdrawn, it will prove dangerous for the country’s SME sector, he warned.

He said ever-increasing cost of production in the country is the real threat to large and small-scale businesses. Frequent upward revisions in policy rate and continuous fluctuations in rupee against dollar are posing more challenges for the economy.

The forum Chairman Ibrahim Qureshi said increasing the electricity tariffs by Rs7.50 per unit is an incorrect move. He urged the government to reverse the proposed increase.

He said aggressive economic measures, high borrowing rates, inflation, oppressive taxation and unstable currency are negatively affecting businesses. The situation has led to the closure of many operations.

The APBF President said abrupt disruption of concessions committed under various industry policies led to decline in industry’s exports, which declined from $18.5 billion during FY2021-22 to around $16.6 billion in FY2022-23.