ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has slammed the recent hike in prices of petroleum products and called on the government to withdraw its decision.
"Prices of petroleum, oil and lubricant (POL) products have been increased twice in a short span of time and a further rise will unleash a new wave of inflation in the country," the ICCI said in a statement on Friday.
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ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed said the government was already charging 31% general sales tax on high-speed diesel and Rs10 per litre on petrol as petroleum development levy, due to which consumers were paying much higher prices for POL products.
Acknowledging that oil prices in the international market had gone up, he asked the government to reduce high taxes and charges on POL products, which would save the business community and general public from further problems.
Waheed said the industrial sector would be the immediate victim of the hike in petroleum prices as it was a major raw material for the industries.
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He said the move would also reduce competitiveness of Pakistani goods in the international market and undermine government's efforts for the revival of exports.
ICCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Naveed and Vice President Nisar Mirza stressed that instead of increasing petroleum prices, the government should focus on reducing taxes and duties on POL products and control non-development expenditures.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2018.
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