KARACHI:

Hyderabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry President Muhammad Farooq Shaikhani has praised the government’s decision to reduce petroleum product prices, stating that this step will help mitigate the wave of inflation in the country.

He said the announcement made on Friday by the Ministry of Finance, on the recommendation of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), to reduce petrol prices by Rs14 per litre and high-speed diesel prices by Rs13.50 per litre “is a satisfactory news for both the business community and the public”, according to a press release issued on Saturday.

He said the move would be advantageous for all segments of society, especially for traders and industrialists, who faced difficulties in meeting their orders on time and at specified prices due to the increased cost of petroleum products used in transportation.

“Whenever the government scales up petroleum prices, everything in the country becomes dearer and more expensive. However, when prices are lowered, the impact doesn’t reflect in prices,” he said and called for taking administrative measures to ensure reduction in transport fares and other costs.

Read Govt slashes petrol price by Rs14 per litre

Therefore, “the government should devise a systematic mechanism to ensure that benefits reach all strata of society.”

Despite the recent reduction, he pointed out, petroleum product prices in the country were still considerably higher compared to international markets. He urged the government to align prices with the global market rates.

Highlighting global trends, Shaikhani said all developed countries were transitioning to alternative energy sources and several European countries had already banned petrol-driven vehicles within their borders.

He stressed that Pakistan’s government must actively explore alternative energy sources for petroleum needs to alleviate the burden on the national economy.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2023.

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