KARACHI: The Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) has strongly condemned the government for increasing the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs17.50 and Rs20.00 respectively, which it said would trigger inflation and hurt the already struggling industries.

In a statement, KCCI President Mohammed Tariq Yousuf said that the fuel price hike was totally unbearable for all segments of society, including the business and industrial community, as it would affect the cost of production and household commodities.

He also expressed dismay over the recent rise in KE’s base power tariff by Rs7.5 per unit and the fuel cost adjustment by Rs2.31 per unit, which he said had forced 50 percent of the industries to close down and threatened the survival of the remaining ones.

He urged the government to take serious steps to bring down the cost of industrial inputs, including electricity, gas, and petroleum products, otherwise the economy and the businesses would not be able to stay afloat.

He also asked the government to fix the technical glitches in the SRB e-portal, which has been dysfunctional for many days, hampering the filing and payment of service tax and other related tasks.

He said that these issues should not be a concern for taxpayers alone but factually should be a concern for the regulator, who should notify its taxpayers of its failure to bring in the correction in the software on which depends the most basic and the fundamental function of tax compliance.

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