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KARACHI: Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) president Saleem-uz-Zaman has rejected the government’s hike in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). He said the discussion on LPG policy in the cabinet should be postponed and prices for commercial and domestic consumers should be reduced. The industries were already unable to get out of the financial difficulties created by Covid-19, which caused them to face gas shortages and shutdowns; it is causing huge losses to the industries.

Saleem-uz-Zaman said that industrialists could not afford to face frequent gas and energy problems. Severe gas shortage during summer, sales tax on LNG in the budget and now raising the prices of petroleum products, including LPG, to an all-time high will only add to the problems. KATI president said the recent hike in petrol, CNG and LPG prices would increase the cost of production for exporters. He said that the industry could not afford to buy expensive LPG in these circumstances.

This will inevitably lead to uncontrollable production costs, which could push the industry to the brink of collapse and undermine the government’s ease of doing business. He said that the industrialists have repeatedly raised their voice at every forum that the government should take steps to alleviate this problem.

He demanded the government to immediately withdraw the increase in LPG or else the industries would remain with no other option than to shut down.

Saleem-uz-Zaman said that in view of these unfortunate circumstances, the majority of industrialists are considering relocating the industry abroad. If that happens, unemployment and domestic exports will be extinct to alarming situation. This is likely to hurt the economy further.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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