Call for Rs.10 to Rs.15 per litre cut in POL prices

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

Busi­ness­men in a meet­ing at Is­lam­abad Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try have shown re­sent­ment over in­suf­fi­cient cut in the prices of POL prod­ucts de­spite the fact that price of crude oil in in­ter­na­tional mar­ket has come down to below $35/per litre show­ing a fall of over 60% from its peak price.

In a state­ment, he called for Rs.10 to Rs.15 per litre re­duc­tion in POL prices to pass on the full ben­e­fit of re­duced oil prices in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket to the con­sumers. Atif Ikram Sheikh Pres­i­dent, Sheikh Pervez Ahmed Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent and Sheikh Ab­dul Wa­heed Vice Pres­i­dent, Is­lam­abad Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try said that his­toric fall in in­ter­na­tional oil prices has cre­ated a good op­por­tu­nity for the govern­ment to pro­vide re­lief to the com­mon man and cre­ate con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for growth of busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties, but in­stead of shar­ing its full ben­e­fit with the con­sumers, govern­ment has an­nounced a mea­gre cut of Rs.5 per litre across all cat­e­gories of POL prod­ucts which has de­prived the peo­ple of much awaited re­lief.

They also crit­i­cized the im­po­si­tion of fixed sales tax on POL prod­ucts ir­re­spec­tive of in­crease/de­crease in their prices as this mode would badly hurt busi­ness and in­dus­trial ac­tiv­i­ties and put un­nec­es­sary pres­sure on the com­mon man, es­pe­cially in a sce­nario of fall­ing pe­tro­leum prices in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket.

They said af­ter the lift­ing of in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic sanc­tions on Iran, oil prices are ex­pected to re­main low for many months to come due to Iran's ef­forts to boost oil ex­port and global sup­ply gut, there­fore, in this sce­nario, govern­ment's move to im­pose fixed sales tax on POL prod­ucts was meant to make POL prod­ucts a source of tax rev­enue gen­er­a­tion as it will still be earn­ing Rs.25 on ev­ery litre of petrol in terms of taxes and levies which will de­prive peo­ple of the trick­le­down ef­fect of low oil prices.

The govern­ment has fixed sales tax of Rs.14.58 per litre on petrol, Rs.29.57 on high speed diesel, Rs.10.40 on kerosene and Rs.9.63 per litre on light diesel oil while ear­lier the taxes were charged on per­cent­age ba­sis. ICCI Of­fice Bear­ers said the high speed diesel was the largest sell­ing fuel in the coun­try for heavy ve­hi­cles, gen­er­a­tors and wa­ter pumps etc. while the govern­ment will now be re­ceiv­ing Rs.38/per litre on HSD in terms of taxes and levies which would fur­ther en­hance trans­porta­tion cost and cost of do­ing busi­ness.

The busi­ness­men urged that govern­ment should an­nounce at least Rs.10 to Rs.15 per litre cut in POL prod­ucts that would lead to mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits as it would re­duce pro­duc­tion and trans­porta­tion cost, bring down in­fla­tion, im­prove pur­chas­ing power of con­sumers and give boost to busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties en­tail­ing more tax rev­enue for the govern­ment as well.

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