ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has called upon the caretaker government to withdraw its decision of making further hike in the prices of petroleum products as it would enhance the cost of production, increase inflation for the general public, affect exports and hit the growth of the economy.
Muhammad Naveed Malik Acting President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the caretaker government has increased the price of petrol by Rs.4.26 per litre, High Speed Diesel by Rs.6.55 per litre and kerosene by Rs.4.46 per litre at a time when the business community was already facing many challenges in promoting business activities.
They said that Pakistan was producing major chunk of electricity through oil fuel which has led to the high cost of production making our exports uncompetitive in the international market. He said that our exports have recently witnessed a turn around, but the recent hike in the price of petroleum products would make our exportable products more uncompetitive in international market leading to further slump in exports.
He said that the increase in the price of diesel would further enhance transportation cost that would affect the growth of business activities and give rise to inflation for the general public. He said the hike in POL prices would also affect agriculture sector as most of the tube wells were run on diesel and the cost of bringing the products from farms to markets would further go up.
Muhammad Naveed Malik said that the government has imposed many taxes on POL products which was not justified. He said that government was receiving 27.5 percent GST on HSD and 17 percent GST on other POL products. In addition to that, it was charging Rs.8 per litre on HSD as petroleum levy and Rs.10 per litre on petrol. He urged that instead of making any increase in POL prices, government should reduce heavy taxes and levies on these products that would bring down the high cost of doing business, facilitate growth of business activities and exports, reduce inflation and yield multiple benefits for the economy.