LAHORE-The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has urged the government to reduce energy prices to continue to benefit from falling oil prices on the international market.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar and Vice President Mian Zahid Jawaid Ahmad said that oil prices on the international market were at their lowest and dropped well below $ 30 per barrel. They say that oil is an important raw material for the industrial sector while the country also produces most of the electricity from oil. Noting the decline in oil prices on the international market, the government must reduce domestic prices.

“This will be a big help for industries and traders who are suffering because of closure across the country,” they said. They say that the high cost of doing business is one of the main problems faced by the industrial sector which requires government support to ensure presence in the international market. Obviously, it will bring much-needed foreign exchange to the country and reduce financial pressure.

They say that the agricultural sector will also develop if prices are lowered.

They say that Pakistan’s agricultural sector is an engine of growth. They say that cutting oil prices will reduce the input costs of agricultural production because high-speed diesel is used in tractors, tube wells, harvesters, thrasher, and other agricultural machines. They are of the view that the right time to reduce prices is the best because all sectors suffer terribly because of the locking and closing of businesses. Big price cuts will provide much needed sustainability. They further stated that Pakistan needs the development of renewable energy resources in the future. The government must encourage local and foreign investment in this particular sector.

They say that the country has a broad scope for renewable energy and its promotion will undoubtedly reduce oil import bills as well as reduce the costs of doing business and the cost of living for ordinary people. They say that solar panels and small wind turbines can be easily installed in residential colonies for electricity generation.

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