RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) has voiced serious concerns over the sharp fall in the value of Pakistani rupee against the US dollar and OGRA’s notification of up to 143 pc increase in gas prices. It would unleash a new wave of inflation in the country and create additional problems for business and industrial activities.
These remarks were made by RCCI newly elected President Malik Shahid Saleem while addressing a media briefing at chamber house here on Wednesday.
The prevailing economic uncertainty in country is damaging the investor’s trust and stressed that government should take urgent measures to end volatility and bring stability in the local currency. “A weaker rupee would increase the cost of doing business, especially for companies that are import-dependent”, he said. RCCI Chief cautioned that It must be kept in mind that the rising dollar would lead to costlier imports and the exporters will also bear the brunt due to rise in cost of imported raw materials, plunging the economy into further deep crisis.
Answering to a question on recent increase gas price and new slabs Malik Shahid Saleem said that the hikes in gas price will ultimately double the production cost of the industrial goods which will directly affect the key export sectors like Steel, cement and fertilizer.
On a question on taxation, RCCI chief said that traders’ are not against the taxes, but they are against the harassment in the name of tax collection and audits from FBR. He urged government to respect filers and tax payers. The harsh steps should be taken against non-filers and tax avoiders, he added.
On a question regarding fund raising for The Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of Pakistan Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams Fund , RCCI President said that Chamber members have collected five million and will submit in the dam fund soon. We appreciate the SC initiative as it has been converted into a national drive to bring awareness among masses towards water crisis and climate change, he added.
While showing resentment on government economic policies he also urged government to include representatives from Chambers of Commerce and trade bodies in Economic Advisory Council (EAC). He said that business community being the key stakeholder has been ignored and it was unfortunate that not a single person from Federation (FPCCI), Chambers of Commerce or trade bodies included in the EAC.
Senior Vice President Badar Haroon, Vice President Fayyaz Qureshi, group leader Sohail Altaf, former presidents Asad Mashadi, Shameel Daud, Raja Amer Iqbal, and members were also present on the occasion.