| GEO Business|
| Tarin rules out cut in POL prices|
| Updated at: 0249 PST, Wednesday, February 25, 2009|
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has ruled out possibility of further reduction in prices of petroleum products over low revenue collection.
Tarin told the National Assembly’s Senate Committee on Finance that that he was hoping to receive US$1 billion from U.S. during current fiscal year.
Terming core inflation as one of the biggest factors for price hike, Tarin assured the committee that government would make efforts to check the inflation for the relief of the masses, specially the poor in the country.
The committee was held under the Chairmanship of Mrs Fozia Wahab MNA, which expressed its concern over the insufficient measures taken by the government to control the inflation rates.
The committee directed the ministry to take stringent measures to control the price fluctuation in order to make the commodities available at affordable prices.
Tarin said that due to high international commodity prices and petroleum products non food inflation reached 20 percent, while food inflation was recorded at 29 percent.
He informed the Committee that due to reduction in the petroleum prices and palm oil in the international market, the inflation has started coming down .
Shaukat Tarin further told the Committee that storage of stock of sugar and wheat would be enhanced and the performance of PASSCO and TCP would be improved.
He added that power of price magistrates would further be strengthened so that the prices of the essential commodities in the market should be stabilized. Shaukat Tarin said FBR had a shortfall of Rs.20 billion revenues in the month of January.
He added that government is collecting Rs.12 billion per month in Petroleum Development Levy (PDL).
The Members of the Committee urged the government to take steps for passing on the reduction of petroleum prices to the people in the country.
They were of the view that despite government decision of reducing the petroleum prices, the transporters have not reduced their fares.
They called for implementation of the decision of the government for the relief of the people.