ISLAMABAD: Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has said that the price of crude oil in the international market is currently less than USD 44 per barrel but the prevailing price of petrol and diesel in Pakistan is more than Rs.100 per litre due to which the cost of doing business has gone up and inflation has increased manifold for common man. He demanded from the government to make urgent cut in petroleum prices that would bring down the business cost and reduce inflation providing great relief to the common man.
Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that business community and people were already facing great hardships due to the devastations of Covid-19 pandemic but instead of taking relief measures for them in these difficult times, the government had increased the prices of petroleum products by 27 to 66 percent in the last week of June that further increased the difficulties of businesses and the general public.
He said that in light of current tough conditions, the government should have taken steps to reduce the manufacturing cost and promote ease of doing business so that our economy could recover fast. But instead of taking relief measures, government increased the problems by making unnecessary hike in petroleum prices. He said that the industrial sector uses furnace oil in factories while the transport and agricultural sectors are using diesel so the reduction in prices of petrol and diesel will alleviate the problems of these sectors and bring down inflation as well.
The ICCI President said that the government has made the petroleum products an important source of revenue collection which is not justified. He said the government is currently collecting an amount of Rs.47 on per litre of petrol and diesel in the form of sales tax and petroleum levy. He urged that government should reduce heavy taxes on petroleum products to provide relief to businesses and the people. He further said that most of the electricity in Pakistan is generated from furnace oil due to which its price is almost highest in the region. It leads to high cost of doing business making our exports more uncompetitive in the international market. He stressed that government should also reduce price of electricity in proportion to low oil prices in the international market that would bring down the cost of doing business, boost business activities & exports and help our economy to recover fast.