3rd July, 2018
Tariq Haleem, Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has urged the caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk to withdraw the recent price hike in P.O.L products and keep it at the June 20, 2018 price level by slashing the various tax rates and levies on their imports. In this respect, he urged that the price of HSD and other P.O.L products contain 31% and 17% GST respectively.
Tariq Haleem, VP-FPCCI lamented that the prices of P.O.L products have been increased within a short span of ten days only without giving any reason. Tariq Haleem, VP-FPCCI elaborated that the HOBC price was Rs. 87.7/Ltr on June 20, 2018 which has now been increased to Rs. 114.7/Ltr; similarly the price of Premium and HS Diesel has been increase from Rs. 91.96/Ltr and Rs. 105.31/Ltr to Rs. 99.5/Ltr and Rs. 119.31/Ltr respectively.
VP of FPCCI added that the cash strapped caretaker government is resorting to an easy way to generate additional revenue. He, therefore, proposed that the government should evolve some proper mechanism and concrete economic policies to increase the revenues and stabilize the economy on sound footings instead of taking frequently, the short-term decisions on ad-hoc basis by increasing the prices blindly. He added that the government instead of using POL prices as a tool to generate revenue should curtail its unnecessary expenses and taking austerity measures.
The Vice President of FPCCI argued that the increase in P.O.L prices would have multiplier affect on trade and industry and economic activities as it would further spur cost-push inflation; increase cost of transportation of raw material and consumer goods; inflate cost of production etc.
Tariq Haleem, VP of FPCCI added that the high price of fuel in the country would further increase the incentive of its smuggling, as around 15%-20% petrol consumed in Pakistan is smuggled from neighboring countries thus causing not only loss to the government exchequer but also to the motorist using adulterated fuel.
(Dr. Iqbal Thaheem)