ISLAMABAD - Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to immediately withdraw hike in sales tax on some POL products as it would put additional burden on consumers and enhance the cost of doing business in the country.

ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed urged that government to pass on full benefits of educed oil prices in international market to the consumers. In a press statement, he said that FBR vide its SRO No.414(1)/2018 issued on 31st March 2018 has further enhanced sales tax on motor spirit from 17 percent to 21.5 percent and on high speed diesel oil from 25.5 percent to 27.5 percent which was not justified.

He said that government was already charging Rs8 per liter petroleum levy on HSD, Rs10 on petrol, Rs6 on light diesel oil and Rs3 on kerosene oil while further increase in sales tax on some POL products would surge transportation cost and increase inflation leading to further dent in business activities.

Muhammad Naveed Senior Vice President and Nisar Mirza Vice President ICCI said that Ogra had recommended Rs5.26 per liter cut in petrol price, but government has reduced petrol by only Rs2.07 per liter that has deprived the people of real benefit of reduced oil prices in international market.

They said that whenever oil prices went up, government lost no time in passing on its full impact to the consumers, but whenever, the oil prices came down, its real benefit was not passed on to the people which was not a wise approach.

They urged that government should consider further reduction in POL prices and make significant in heavy taxes on these products that would enhance purchasing power of consumers and facilitate the growth of business activities.