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LCCI disapproves of gas tariff hike

LAHORE, March 8: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Friday took a strong exception to federal cabinet’s decision to increase gas tariff by Rs5.5 per unit and called for its immediate withdrawal.

LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said in a statement issued here that collection of Rs11 billion from gas consumers regularly paying gas bills was injustice to them and violation of the Ogra Ordinance.

He said the Supreme Court and the Lahore High Court had already ruled against charging the consumers for the stolen gas. He said the cabinet decision to pass on the unaccounted for gas (UFG) losses to consumers would result in an increase in the cost of doing business in Pakistan and hit all businessmen manufacturing export products.

Iftikhar said the LCCI knew that gas theft without the help of department concerned was almost impossible therefore punishing the honest consumers made no sense.

He said the economy was already facing challenging times because of an acute shortage of electricity and gas therefore the government should think about an incentives package for the trade and industry instead of taking such ‘anti-business’ decisions.