KARACHI:

President of the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), Syed Johar Ali Qandhari, appealed to the government to rescind the recent hike in petroleum product prices, warning of dire consequences such as industrial closures, inflationary pressures, and a surge in unemployment if swift action is not taken.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, he highlighted the pressing need to address challenges faced by industrialists to boost exports and enhance Pakistan’s economic standing. “We are already facing 38% high cost of doing business in comparison with regional countries including India, Bangladesh, Maldive, Bhutan and others,” he said.

Qandhari highlighted that the escalating transportation costs are severely impacting industrialists and urged the government to promptly alleviate production costs to enhance global competitiveness.

Expressing concern over the recent surge in petroleum product prices, the KATI president warned that the industry is on the brink of collapse due to rising production costs. He stressed the urgent need to mitigate these costs to ensure the competitiveness of Pakistani products in the global market, noting that neighbouring countries like India and Bangladesh have surged ahead in the region.

Expressing disappointment, he said the government’s apparent lack of focus on providing essential facilities to the industry has burdened industrialists with successive increases in electricity, gas, and petrol prices, along with additional taxes. He emphasised the imperative of government intervention to support industrialists and facilitate growth.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2024.

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