Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Monday that the big reduction in the price of petrol is very welcome as it will bring relief to the people. In a fortnight, the prices will be reduced for the second time, positively affecting the entire population, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the reason for this decrease is the fall in the price of oil in the international market and the increase in the value of the rupee.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that if the dollar continues to fall, it will be possible for the government to provide more relief to the people.
He said that the price of petrol had been reduced by 40 rupees per litre and the price of high-speed diesel by 15 rupees per litre. The diesel price has not been reduced much, while the petroleum levy on diesel has been increased by Rs 5.
The business leader said that a diesel price reduction was impossible because the government had to fulfil the budget targets and implement the agreement with the IMF.
According to the deal, the government has to raise Rs 869 billion from the petroleum levy this year.
A decrease in the price of petrol will reduce the travel cost of cars and motorcycles; travel in taxis and rickshaws will become cheaper; and the effect of a decrease in the price of diesel will be less because it is used in heavy transport, trucks, buses, railways, and agriculture.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that till now, zero sales tax has been collected on petroleum products and added that apart from the stability of the rupee, good news is also coming from many sides.
Cotton production is improving, and 12 million bales are expected to be produced this year; wheat production is up 12 per cent; the auto industry, which was devastated, is now getting orders; and the stock market is also improving, he said.
He said that banks are also making huge profits, remittances are picking up again, and rice exports are expected to exceed three billion dollars this year. Electricity thieves are being punished, and planning is being done to prevent illegal profiteering in selling commodities and vegetables.
However, the best news is privatisation plans, which, if implemented quickly, will save Pakistan from a major problem.