ICCI for sufficient cut in Petroleum Prices to ease pressure on common man

  • November 28, 2015
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the government to make sufficient cut in POL products prices to pass on the full benefit of reduced oil prices in international market to the business community and the common man. 
Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that crude oil price in international market has come down to $41.71/barrel and government should make proportionate cut in domestic prices of POL products to provide relief to the general public. He said Pakistan’s heavy reliance on furnace oil for power generation has made power tariffs in Pakistan for industry and consumers one of the highest in the region and it was right time that government should make decent reduction in petroleum prices that will bring down manufacturing cost, facilitate better growth of business activities and ease lot of pressure on the common man.
He said government has imposed heavy taxes on POL products due to which cost of doing business in the country has gone up manifold and people were also facing many problems. He said government has been increasing tax rates on oil products since January 2015 to deprive the domestic consumers of the full benefit of a nosedive in oil prices in international market. He said it increased sales tax on all petroleum products from 17 percent to 22 percent in January and then to 27 percent in February. It further hiked GST rate on all manor petroleum products ranging from over 25 percent to 45 percent in September 2015. 
Atif Ikram Sheikh said it was unfortunate that government has made petroleum products an important source of sale tax collection as it was collecting about 45 percent of total sales tax from these products. However, this unwise approach has caused exorbitant hike in production cost putting highly negative impact on the growth of industrial activities and exports. 
Sheikh Pervez Ahmed Senior Vice President and Sheikh Abdul Waheed Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that apart from heavy GST, people were paying petroleum levy from Rs.6 to Rs.14 per litre, which was highly unjustified. They demanded that government should reduce GST and other taxes on POL products to create a conducive environment for business activities.