Shabbir Hassan Mansha, Acting President FPCCI, has expressed his shock and awe at the astronomical increase in the prices of petrol and diesel. Increase in petrol price by Rs24.03 per litre will crush the masses and Rs59.16per litre in diesel price will have a multiplier effect on goods transportation costs; which will drive the commodities and food supplies prices even further, he added. Acting FPCCI Chief maintained that it is imperative to weigh in the impact of the prior petroleum prices as well; because even before the latest increase prices were also raised twice in a short time span of merely two weeks. Therefore, we are faced with a third major raise in the prices of petroleum products within 20 days – cumulatively raising the petrol price by Rs84/litre, i.e., 56pc and diesel price by Rs144 per litre, i.e., 83pc. Shabbir Hassan Mansha has apprised that a massive goods transportation crisis is in the offing as there is no way the transporters can absorb 83pc raise in the diesel price. He has called upon the government to act and act fast. Mr. Shabbir Hassan Mansha also pointed out that the grapevine is that the government is also mulling the proposal to re-impose petroleum development levy (PDL) and the business community is not sure where this unpredictable, aggressive and anti-business upward price spiral will stop. Shabbir Hassan Mansha emphasized that the real impact of the petroleum prices will reflect in consumer price indices in 4 – 8 weeks and the government should swiftly come up with a protective mechanism for the small & medium enterprises (SMEs); else the skyrocketing increase in cost of doing business will push the country towards historical bankruptcies in the SMEs and the resultant unprecedented unemployment. Acting FPCCI Chief also expressed his profound concerns over massive electricity tariff hike of Rs7.91 / kWh; resulting in Rs24.82 / kWh base tariff for the year 2022 – 23, while it was Rs16.91 / kWh for the outgoing year 2021 – 22. It was a rate hike of a staggering 47pc by NEPRA; and, it will jolt the cost of doing business and ease of doing business indices. Additionally, rumours are rife that there will be even further raise in the electricity tariffs; and, the combined effects of petroleum, electricity and gas prices will make businesses unsustainable and unviable, he added. Shabbir Hassan Mansha has extended FPCCI’s full support from the platform of the apex body to kick start a consultative process between the government and all the stakeholders to work out some sort of operational contingencies under the prevailing cost of doing business crisis.