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ICCI calls for withdrawal of massive hike in gas tariff

ICCI calls for withdrawal of massive hike in gas tariff

Islamabad: /DNA/ – Ch. Muhammad Naeem Patron-in-Chief, Restaurants, Caterers, Sweets and Bakers Association leading a delegation visited the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and highlighted problems being faced by their businesses due to the massive hike in the gas tariff. They stressed that ICCI should take up this issue with relevant authorities for withdrawal of the new gas tariff otherwise their businesses would face closure as it is not possible for them to run business activities at the new gas price. Mumtaz Ahmed Chairman, Muhammad Farooq President, Ch. Muhammad Imtiaz & Zahid Mehmood Senior Vice Presidents, Nadeem Kiani & Shaukat Butt Vice Presidents, Imran Elahi Executive Member and others were in the delegation.

Addressing the delegation, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the OGRA has made a massive hike of up to 194 percent in the gas tariff from 1st November 2023, which is unjustified as it would put an unbearable burden on the people and increase the cost of doing business that would not be affordable for many businesses in these tough times. He urged that the government should withdraw this massive hike in gas tariff to save businesses from closure and the common man from high inflation.

Ahsan Bakhtawari said that gas is a key input for many businesses including bakeries, sweet shops, and restaurants, and if the new gas tariff is not revised, many of these businesses would collapse, which would damage the already fragile economy and cause more unemployment in the country. He said that instead of hiking gas tariffs to cope with the circular debt in the gas sector, the government should focus on controlling the mismanagement and transmission & distribution losses in the gas network. These losses are much higher in Pakistan as compared to international benchmarks. He assured the delegation that ICCI would raise their concerns at all relevant forums for the attention of the concerned authorities.

The delegation members said that the new gas tariff has jeopardized the survival of their businesses as it is not possible for them to absorb this massive hike in gas prices. They said that the new gas tariff would not only cause the closure of many businesses, it would also bring a new wave of inflation for the common man and urged that the government should revise its decision to save the businesses and the general public from serious troubles. 






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