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