ICCI President for abolishing carbon surcharge on petroleum products

  • June 23, 2009
Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) welcomed the decision of Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani to withdraw carbon tax on CNG and termed it a wise and people friendly move. He said imposition of carbon tax on CNG was totally unjustified because CNG was a carbon free and environmental friendly fuel. He also demanded for the abolition of carbon surcharge on POL products as well because it would put extra burden on common man giving rise to inflation and raising cost of doing business in the country. He said government had earned billions of rupees by not passing on the benefit of reduced oil prices in international market to consumers due to which people had to suffer a lot and now was the time that government should have sensed common man’s agonies and took steps to mitigate their miseries.

ICCI President said the country has witnessed hefty contraction in business activities due to high production cost and inflation while high oil prices played a significant role in raising inflation. He said containing inflation to a sustainable level was imperative for economic growth as it not only protects the low and fixed income groups on the consumer side, it also keeps the cost of doing business manageable on the production side. He said the policy objective of the government should always be to ensure high growth while keeping inflation under control. He said if carbon surcharge was not withdrawn, it would surge the production cost translating into high prices for consumers.

Mian Shaukat Masud said government had to face sufficient shortfall in tax revenue this year and the main reason of shrinkage in tax revenue was negative growth in all sectors of the economy except for agriculture spurred mainly by unfavorable business environment. These circumstances demand that government should facilitate the growth of trade and industry by providing incentives, reducing indirect taxes and abolishing unnecessary taxes like carbon tax on petroleum products which are regressive in nature.  He said when we study the taxation structure of Pakistan; we come to know that over the last ten (10) years there has been a phenomenal increase in the taxation revenue by way of Indirect Taxation which has greatly pushed up inflation putting heavy burden on common man. He said the share of the indirect taxes at the federal level had surged to 61.9 percent while share of direct taxes came down to 38.1 percent in first half of the fiscal year 2008-09 and called upon the government to revise its taxation structure to minimize indirect taxes and to save the general public from unnecessary difficulties.