PIAF wants oil prices reduced

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The benefit of historic oil price fall in the international market has not fully been passed on to the general public while its impact on natural gas which is also linked with international prices is not visible in the regulated POL prices, Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said on Friday.

The PIAF chairman called for transferring the benefit of reduction in oil prices globally to the general public including trade and industry people and consumers.

Sheikh said that in Pakistan, it has been the practice that the government increases the GST on POL products to maintain its revenue collection while the general public and consumers are deprived of this benefit.

The PIAF chairman said that his organization had been continuously urging the government for providing a level playing field for traders and industry to compete and play their due role in the national economy. He said that in the international market the prices of petroleum products have been reduced and the government should transfer the benefit of reduction of price on POL products to the general public which he claimed would lead to decline in inflation rate and ultimately transform into improving their purchasing power. He claimed that USA and European countries give full relief to its consumers by minimising the prices of petroleum products. He did not talk about why the price of petrol is up to 100 per cent higher in most European countries compared to Pakistan and whether petrol in Pakistan was cheaper than in almost every country of the region including India and Bangladesh. He asked for lower oil prices in the country in order to offer level playing field to the general public including trade and industry people.

Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that this process will also lead to boost in the industrial production and competitiveness. He said that this step may also reduce the cost of energy which will be helpful to the government in controlling the current energy crises in the country. Sheikh further stated that the declining trend of oil prices will not only cover POL products but also cover more than 100 byproducts which are used by general public. The plastic goods, rayon, Synthetics, fiber, nylon, Vaseline, glycerin, PTA, PSF and many pharmaceutical products are included in oil’s byproducts. He said that by declining oil prices, the cost of these products will also be reduced.