Trade: (Enhanced taxes on imported fuel hurting masses, economy: PBIF)

ISLAMABAD: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that increased taxes on imported fuel continue to hurt common man and economy while depriving masses from benefit of receding oil prices in the international market.

He said the high prices of fuel at home has become a great incentive for smugglers who are thriving on low prices of motor fuel and gas in Iran and Afghanistan while border arrangements have failed to deter them.

He said around fifteen to twenty percent petrol consumed in Pakistan is said to be smuggled from neighbouring countries which is not only hurting revenues but also motorists due to rampant adulteration.

Similarly, the smuggling of LPG continue to increase grabbing almost 30 percent of the local market putting survival of local producers at stake. He said involvement of big fish and collusion among smugglers and terrorists cannot be ruled out.

He said third upward revision in petroleum taxes since December proves the incompetence of export and other institutions which has left government with no option to boost revenue. The situation has forced government to impose additional tax on bank transactions which has resulted in non-compliance hitting businesses, banking and revenues, he observed.

He said nobility should be brought into the tax net to finance war on terror which is in final phase requiring around two trillion rupees. Taxing aristocracy has become imperative to improve relations between government and taxpayers, fund the war which is tied to our survival and break the begging bowl as masses reeling under problems cannot sacrifice more.

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