ISLAMABAD: An association of compressed natural gas (CNG) dealers has voiced fear that letting the rupee fall against the US dollar will lead to a price hike in petrol and gas – cumulatively the largest commodities imported into the country.
“The dollar’s strength will increase poverty and jack up costs of all projects including the economic corridor,” cautioned All Pakistan CNG Association central leader Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha in a statement on Monday.
He pointed out that energy was the largest import commodity and erosion in the currency exchange rate would push up energy prices which had already started increasing in the international market.
“The price of oil and gas will be increased by 7-10% if the rupee continues to fall … it will damage industrial and agricultural production and affect almost every citizen of the country. The decision to let the rupee weaken should be taken back,” he said.
Paracha was of the view that the rupee’s stability was being compromised to please the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as well as exporters, who had become addicted to incentive packages and depreciation.
He suggested that exporting industries should not seek assistance from the government, rather they should improve their competitiveness.
He emphasised that economic problems required structural reforms.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 12th, 2017.