LAHORE/ISLAMABAD - The businessmen have expressed their serious concern for not passing on full relief to the public of oil price cut in global market as the government rejected the OGRA’s recommendation of reducing HSD rate by Rs4.68 per litre for Feb, besides increasing Petroleum Levy exorbitantly on oil products.
All Pakistan Business Forum President Syed Maaz Mahmood observed that OGRA had recommended cut in the prices of almost all petroleum products due to falling oil prices in the international market which was not passed on to the public and industry fully.
He said that it was recommended by OGRA to reduce the price of High Speed Diesel (HSD) by Rs. 4.68, kerosene oil by Rs. 1.92 per per liter and Light Diesel Oil (LDO) by Rs. 0.92 per liter but government maintained the price of HSD at the current level, cut rate of kerosene only by Rs. 0.73 price and LDO by just Rs. 0.25 per liter.
He said that the reduction could be much bigger in case the entire impact of lower international prices would have been passed on to the consumers. He said that since Jan 2019 the Petroleum Levy on HSD has been increased by Rs. 10 per liter (almost 125 percent) to Rs. 18 from Rs. 8 per liter while it was lifted to Rs. 14 on petrol from earlier level of Rs. 10 per liter.
He asked the government to take measures for reduction of production cost in consultation with the stakeholders for sustainable economic growth. He said that all issues can be handled by the government by focusing on some major areas particularly the ease of doing business. He said regulatory duties on all raw materials should also be eliminated to reduce the cost of doing business and making manufacturing sector competitive. APBF president said that the government, instead of providing full relief to the consumers, increased GST and Petroleum Levy on petrol and HSD. He argued that the high cost of doing business is hindering Pakistan in achieving its export target. High speed diesel is being used in agriculture while LDO is used in the industry.
Syed Maaz Mahmood said that the domestic petroleum product prices in the country remained fluctuated upward and downward due to international oil pricing trend. The governments failed to provide relief of reduction of the prices to the consumers and always tried to gain maximum benefit of the changes of these prices.
He said that the prices at the international level keep fluctuating in the last couple of years due to disturbance in the oil-producing countries and converting from oil to the other alternative sources of energy but the government in Pakistan only passed on hike in rates. Whenever prices came down the full benefit was not passed on to the public.