‘Reduction in POL price is a farce’

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PPP Punjab President Wattoo opposes rise in GST on petroleum products, lashes at govt for ‘giving with one hand and taking away with other’

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Punjab President Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo has said that the prices of petrol have been slashed to almost half in the international market and the “fraction of relief given to the people of Pakistan in this regard is a crude joke”.

Moreover, he criticised the government for raising the general sales tax (GST) on petroleum products from 17 percent to 22 percent after announcing the cut in prices of petroleum products.

“This gimmickry on part of the government is unacceptable,” he said, adding, “it is like giving with one hand and taking away with another.”

He demanded that the raised GST be withdrawn.

Moreover, Wattoo opined that the relief was only for car owners and the upper class because the common man was paying almost the same fare for travelling as he used to pay when the prices of petrol were double in the international market.

He further said that the prices of the goods used by the poor remain almost the same.

“In fact, the poor have not benefitted at all as the prices of vegetable and fruits have soared,” said Wattoo.

Wattoo demanded the government to ensure “comparable relief to the people of all sections of the society”, especially the poor.

He called upon the government to ensure maximum benefit to the poor people even at the expense of the privileged class, as the rich could “easily bear the brunt of any policy of the government”. Therefore, it would be fair by any measure of social justice, said Wattoo.

Wattoo particularly mentioned the farmer community in this regard and said that the prices of diesel should be brought down in proportion to its prices in the international market, “thereby enabling farmers to run their tube wells freely to meet the pressing needs of irrigation”.