UBG demands petrol, diesel prices to be reduced by Rs 10

KARACHI: The United Business Group (UBG) of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Saturday demanded of the government to immediately pass on benefit of the receding oil prices in international market, which will provide relief to masses and the business community.

Oil prices had been on the decline due to global oversupply and sluggish demand, but domestic oil prices did not show any substantial drop, said UBG Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik in a statement.

He said the prices of petrol and diesel should be slashed by Rs 10 per litre, while kerosene oil price must be reduced by Rs 15 per litre, as it is used by poor people for lighting and cooking. The UBG chairman said that reduction in POL prices would benefit millions of people using public transport besides benefiting every sphere of the economy. “Since petrol and diesel meet 85% of the fuel requirement in domestic transportation, lower product prices may create additional demand for automobiles. Reduced prices will also discourage the use of coal which is most polluted form of fuel which will have an impact on the environment,” Malik said, adding that the government should deregulate petroleum market to improve quality of fuel and safeguard interests of consumers.

Presently, he said about 40% of the lubricant market is captured by fake and substandard items, which translates into losses of billion for motorists and industrialists annually. Malik also demanded more attention to the pipeline projects as energy crisis is eating up two percent of the GDP, which is not bearable.

Demand for fossil fuels will grow by 25% by 2040 for which our policymakers should plan immediately, he said, adding that Thar has more energy than combined energy available in Saudi Arabia and Iran. Moreover, Pakistan has more shale oil and gas reserves in than all the energy reserves of central Asian states put together which if exploited will resolve all the economic problems faced by the country, he added.

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