Pakistan petroleum dealers announce countrywide strike on July 5
The federal government has hiked the petrol price by Rs 7.45 per litre for the next fortnight.

at 4:42 pm
Representative picture

Islamabad, July 1: The Pakistan Petroleum Dealers Association has announced a countrywide strike on July 5, to protest against the government’s decision to impose 0.5% advance tax. This comes even as the Pakistan government has hiked the petrol price by Rs 7.45 per litre for the next fortnight.

The PPDA stated that if the advance tax is not refunded, they will shut down the entire country on July 5.

PPDA chairman Abdul Samad Khan said in a press conference that petroleum dealers are concerned about the 0.5% advance turnover tax included in the Finance Bill.

He said this tax makes it impossible to run the petrol pump business. The government should immediately review and eliminate this advance tax, otherwise, the dealers will have no choice but to shut down their businesses.

Khan said the oil marketing companies’ interests are most important to them.

The PPDA chairman stated that even as the government is imposing taxes on everything, the sales of petroleum dealers have declined. He alleged that the government is supporting smuggling, and threats are made against those who speak out against smuggling.

According to Khan, the Prime Minister has expressed helplessness regarding the imposition of these taxes.

A delegation of petroleum dealers is scheduled to visit Islamabad to seek meetings with the Finance Minister, the Petroleum Minister, and the Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

Meanwhile, the Finance Division on Sunday officially issued a notification, fixing the new price of petrol at Rs265.61 per litre, up Rs7.45 from the previous Rs258.16 per litre, burdening the already inflation-hit public.

Similarly, high-speed diesel (HSD) will now be available for Rs277.45 per litre, up Rs 9.56 from the previous rate of Rs 267.89 per litre.

It is pertinent to mention here that petrol prices were expected to increase in Pakistan from July 1 after four consecutive price cuts.

The hike in petrol prices could lead to domestic price hikes, potentially more significant if the government raises the Petroleum Development Levy (PDL) from the current Rs60 per litre.

In related news, the hike in fuel prices has been challenged in the Lahore High Court.

The plea was moved on Monday by Azhar Siddique Advocate, the chairman of the Judicial Activism Panel in the Lahore High Court.

The plea stated that the federal government has jacked up the prices of petroleum products which would lead to a further rise in inflation.

Terming the decision of fuel price hike against basic fundamental rights, Azhar Siddique urged the court to strike down the recent fuel price hike notification.