Wednesday February 28, 2024

SC wants forensic audit of petroleum prices

May 10, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday wanted forensic audit of petroleum prices and sought explanation from relevant departments over imposition of taxes on petroleum products observing that taxes are levied whenever relief has to be provided to the public.

During a hearing, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that prices of petroleum products in Pakistan seldom go down when there is a decrease in the international market as the government keeps imposing taxes.

Since Additional Attorney General Nasar was also present in the court, Justice Ijazul Ahsan questioned him on type of taxes applicable on petroleum products and price of petroleum in international market.

The additional attorney general told the court that sale taxes on petroleum products in Pakistan are lowest in the region adding that India levied 27 percent taxes on its petroleum products. To this, the chief justice remarked that taxes between India and Pakistan incomparable just like the information technology sector of both the countries was.

In budget FY 2018-19, government recommends 200 percent increase in petroleum levy. The chief justice then sought an explanation over imposition of taxes on petroleum products from relevant departments adjourning the hearing for a week.

Following the announcement of budget for fiscal year 2018-19, the government recommended an increase of nearly 200 percent in petroleum levy. Under the Finance Bill 2018, tax on diesel, crude oil and high octane fuel would be increased from Rs10 per litre to Rs30. The same increase would be imposed on the levy of light speed diesel and gasoline while levy on local liquefied petroleum gas could go up by 328 percent.