Businessmen term petrol prices hike resulting in 50% industrial facilities closure, widespread unemployment

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Business leaders responded to the interim government’s significant hike in petrol prices by issuing a dire warning that the move will result in the closure of 50% of industrial facilities and result in widespread unemployment.

They said that the rise in petrol and diesel prices of Rs17.50 and Rs20 per liter, respectively, would be too much for commerce and industry, which are already battling to withstand the increases in electricity tariffs of approximately Rs10 per unit.

According to them, the hike will drive up the cost of living and manufacturing while also feeding the current inflationary pressures.

Suleman Chawla, the acting president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), stated that the top chamber repeatedly requested that the previous coalition government address issues with handling oil cargoes, modifications to refining procedures, and transactional procedures in the import of Russian crude.

The demand for petroleum products will be low for a few years due to a recession in the world economy, he noted, adding that the world oil markets are in upheaval. Due to the extraordinary slump in the national economy, he predicted that domestic demand for imported oil by refineries would not even reach 150,000 barrels per day.