KARACHI: Export-oriented industrial sector and business chambers across the country have criticized the proposal of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and requested the government not to entertain OGRA’s proposal of increasing the price of natural gas. The proposal of 46 percent increase in gas charges would increase the cost of doing business, they lamented. They said that the increase would unleash a new wave of inflation for common man and affect the growth of business activities. Increased price of gas would put pressure on foreign exchange reserves besides an increase in the current account deficit and electricity price that would hurt industrial production and exports as well, they added. The Prime Minister, Imran Khan, and the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) are requested not to consider such hike in gas prices, they maintained. Agha Saiddain of tanners association, Jawed Bilwani of apparel sector, Ghulam Rabbani of yarn and cotton sector, Sanaullha Khan of onyx and marble sector, executive members of Karachi and Lasbella chambers, Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front and traders bodies’ leaders were of the view that the government should safeguard the interests of industrial sector. Due to low prices of fuel, the exports of India, Bangladesh and Turkey have crossed $ 268.6 billion, $ 34.14 billion and $150.2 billion respectively while Pakistan’s exports are around $21 billion, they added. Published in Daily Times, September 8th 2018.