Government, opposition senators trade barbs over increase in petroleum levy | Pakistan


PPP’s Senator Raza Rabbani and the PML-N’s Pervaiz Rasheed criticised the government for increasing the tax on petroleum products, saying that the masses could not avail relief due to it. Federal minister for power, Omar Ayub, traded barbs with the opposition senators over the issue.

The News had reported that the levy on petrol had been increased by Rs4.75 to Rs19.75 per litre. If not increased, petrol would have been cheaper by Rs4.75. A similar increase in tax was witnessed with diesel. Petroleum levy on diesel was increased by Rs7.05 to Rs25.05 per litre. If the government did not increase the PL (petroleum levy) on diesel, diesel would be cheaper by Rs7.05 per litre.

Read moreGovt increases tax on petroleum products

During his speech, Rabbani took aim at the prime minister for failing to control inflation. “Is the elected prime minister running the country or the unelected finance minister?” he asked.

Senator Pervaiz Rasheed said that the government will get Rs10 billion annually from the petroleum levy. He asked the government whether they were about to give people any “good news” about building any motorways, airports, ports or starting new projects from the petroleum tax that they will collect.

He said that the incumbent government, similar to the Musharraf regime, was more focused on former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. “Musharraf’s government used to say Nawaz will not be allowed to return. They [PTI-led government] say Nawaz will not be allowed to leave. They have nothing to do apart from [worry about] Nawaz,” he said.

In response, federal minister Omar Ayub said that the government had slashed petrol prices by Rs5 per litre yet the opposition was still criticising the treasury benches. 

Govt slashes price of petrol by Rs5

The Ministry of Finance announced on Saturday that the government had slashed the prices of petroleum products, as oil prices in international market fell. 

Petrol is being sold for Rs111.60 per litre after its price was slashed by Rs5 per litre. The price of diesel has also been cut by Rs5 a litre, which means it will now be available for Rs112.26 per litre. 

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