KARACHI: The Lasbela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Wednesday demanded reduction in petroleum products (POL) prices by Rs20 per litre by considering the lowest oil prices prevailing in the international market.
In a statement, Lasbela Chamber President Maqsood Ismail and former President Yakoob Karim said that international oil prices were constantly falling for the last few years and the price of POL products per barrel went down below $31, but the Pakistan government remained reluctant to provide price relief to the consumers with the same ratio.
It was a sheer injustice with the people of the country that they were not given any price differential in any utility, he said, adding that as per the government’s own price mechanism, there should be immediate reduction in prices of not only POL products but also electricity, transport fares, including trains and airlines, but the authorities were reluctant to bring them down.
They said the present government, following the practice of the previous regimes, was not practicing the price mechanism and to the PML-N government was depriving them of fundamental rights for not providing the price cushion.
The view that the government as per its claim of being the business and investment friendly should reduce the POL prices honestly, as the people of Pakistan deserve it. “The masses, in general, and trade and industry, in particular, need some sigh of relief at this juncture when everyone remains under the heavy burden of unaffordable prices of utilities and imposition of various additional taxes and levies,” Ismail said.
He lamented the increase in general sales tax (GST) on fuel, which he declared unjustified. He warned industries were closing down in the country due to unbearable cost of production and the energy crisis. He said that actual price cut should be the Rs 40 per litre as per the rate of $31 per barrel in the international market.