Surcharge on petrol price criticised


Business Forum Punjab (BFP) President Ibrahim Qureshi has criticised the government for unfairly taxing the common man to the tune of Rs60-100 billion per annum through an ad valorem surcharge on the price of petrol. He was addressing a press conference at a local hotel. Nabeel Hashmi (Chairman BFP), Sohail Yousaf (General Secretary), Hussain Fazal (Vice President) and other office bearers of the Forum were also present on the occasion.
President BFP Ibrahim Qureshi said the federal government’s methodology to impose an ad valorem surcharge on the price of petrol is based on a percentile formula resulting in unreasonable and disproportionately high tax burden, especially on the general public. He emphasied that no surcharge should be levied on petrol prices. “Before we begin fixing this faulty taxation system, we must curtail expenses and reduce deficits being incurred directly a result of corruption and incompetence”, he added. Regarding MFN status to India, Ibrahim said BFP supports a pro-trade policy not only with India, but throughout the South Asian region. Currently, he said, 90 per cent of our trade takes place outside the region against an ideal situation of 2/3rds trade within regional partners. However, we need to listen to and seriously address the concerns of the industrial/business community before jumping to a December 31 deadline of removing the negative list. He said BFP is completely against this unfair timeline and demanded a 36-month initial period to maintain the negative list with a review at the end of this period before such a major policy decision is undertaken.