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Cut in power tariff demanded

Islamabad

June 3, 2020

Islamabad : Muhammad Ahmed Waheed, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said that government has reduced the prices of petrol, light diesel and kerosene by over Rs.7, Rs.9 and Rs.11 per litre respectively, which was a welcome move. However, he urged that government should also slash high taxes on POL products instead of making them a source of revenue generation. He said that on the one hand prices of POL products were reduced, but on the other hand taxes on these products were further increased which was not a wise decision as it has deprived the people of availing the real benefit of decline in oil prices in the international market.

Muhammad Ahmed Waheed said that government was charging a total amount of tax and levy of over Rs40 per litre on petrol and over Rs.41 per litre on high speed diesel which was unjustified. He said that petroleum levy on petrol and diesel was Rs.8 per litre in January last year which has now been increased to Rs30 per litre which was a huge increase.

ICCI President said that business community and people have suffered badly due to COVID-19 so in these circumstances government should have reduced the taxes on petroleum products in order to reduce high cost of doing business for revival of business activities and unburden the people of high inflation.

Mohammad Ahmed Waheed said that diesel was mostly used in transportation, industry and agriculture sectors but government has not reduced its price even though there was an urgent need for slashing its price to provide relief to these sectors. He said that despite the historic decline in the price of oil in the global market, government has not reduced the price of high octane petrol, due to which the price of this petrol in the market was about Rs147 per litre. Therefore, he urged government reduce high octane petrol price as there was no justification for keeping its price so high.

ICCI President said that most of the electricity in Pakistan was generated from oil-fired power plants and now that the price of oil has come down drastically in the world market, it necessitated proportionate cut in the price of electricity, which will alleviate the hardships of business class, revive industrial and commercial activities besides boosting exports. He said that Pakistan's economy has been further weakened due to coronavirus issue and the best way to move the economy towards stability was to promote exports.

He said that immediate reduction in the price of electricity in proportion to the reduction in oil prices would lead to reduction in the cost of doing business that would boost business activities, improve exports and revive our economy.