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APBF asks govt to cut tax ratio to keep oil rates stable

Islamabad: (PR) The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) has condemned the government for increasing prices of petroleum products up to Rs5.19 per liter, terming it bad news for the country’s economy, as this is third consecutive hike in fuel rates leading to increasing cost of production ultimately.

APBF President Ibrahim Qureshi said though the prices of oil in global market is going up yet the authorities can keep the rates stable by reducing tax ratio which is highest in the region.

The govt increased the price of petrol by Rs2.49 per litre. High speed diesel price was enhanced by Rs5.19 per litre, light diesel oil by Rs3 per litre and kerosene oil price increased by Rs5.19 per litre for November.

Petrol price will go up to Rs75.99 per litre from the current Rs73.50 per litre. HSD price has gone to Rs84.59 from current Rs79.40 per litre. The prices of kerosene oil, after an increase of Rs5.19, will go up to Rs53.19 per litre from the existing Rs48.00 per litre.

In the past, the government did not pass on the full benefit of declining oil prices to the public by imposing heavy taxes. It is the time to relax the duties and absorb the burden of soaring petroleum prices in international market by keeping the prices stable.

Ibrahim Qureshi, terming it a bad news for the country’s economy which was already facing a number of challenges, said that the increase would put extra burden on the consumers.

At a time when country’s trade deficit was further stretched by 34 percent during 2MFY18 to $6.3 billion owing to rise in imports and slow exports growth amidst high cost of doing business, the continuous hike petroleum as well as power tariff is very unfortunate.

He lamented that the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has recently enhanced the electricity and gas tariff which is dangerous particularly for the industry in Punjab.

The NEPRA had allowed an increase of 48 paisa per unit in the average electricity tariff for Discos for 2015-16, allowing them to put an additional burden of more than Rs 24.34 billion on consumers.

He said that APBF had always been calling on the concerned government circles to take measures for the promotion of alternate fuels as trade deficit was fast widening due to heavy imports under the head of petroleum products. He said that rise in PoL prices is bound to give a further blow to the industry.

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