Islamabad, May 06, 2018 (PPI-OT): Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Sunday said a hike of rupees 15 per kg in the price of ghee and cooking oil amounts to exploitation of the masses which is intolerable. The price of ghee and cooking oil shot up by almost Rs 10 per kg due to recent currency depreciation while the government didn’t take any remedial step; rather it increased customs duty on imports of edible oil which has further increased its price by Rs 5 per kg in the local market, it said.
Customs duty on import of Soybean oil has been revised upward by 32.6 percent which has increased the price of cooking oil by Rs 5 per kg while the price of a sixteen kg container of ghee has been increased by Rs 80 in the local market, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.
The move is set to burden poor masses and trigger food security issue manufacturers are transferring the impact of hike of Rs 2950 per tonne in the duty to the masses, he added. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that the import of soybean oil has been reduced after the decision which will soon come to a halt putting 22 crore masses on the mercy of a business group involved in the business of importing oilseeds and running solvency and extraction plants.
The government used to get Rs 9050 as duty on import of soybean oil which will now jump to Rs 12000 while import of oilseed attracts taxes and duties to the tune of Rs 7100 only which is against the principle of a level playing field and it also discourages farmers. Around forty parties are involved in the import of 2.5 lakh tonnes of soybean oil per annum. These businessmen will be forced to close operations putting whole industry and population on the sweet will of an influential industrial group, he feared.
The business leader said that unchanged duty structure on the import of oilseed has not benefitted masses rather it has eroded public exchequer by Rs8 billion and now the annual losses will jump to Rs 19 billion. The decision should be reversed immediately as masses should not be made to pay to benefit few influential and the move can also influence the outcome of the general elections.
For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry (ICSTSI)
24-D, 3rd Floor, Rashid Plaza Blue Area, Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad, Pakistan
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