FPCCI urges FBR for withdrawal of section 8B of sales tax against Edible Oil

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Karachi: Nasir Khan, Vice President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI), has strongly condemned the unfair, illogical, and illegal inclusion of Edible Oils in the S.R.O. 1190(I)/2019 issued by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

As a matter of principle, this SRO should have included commercial importers instead of edible oil manufacturers. Therefore, one of the major disruptions this SRO has caused is that edible oil manufacturers have massively decreased their imports and shifted to commercial importers. Nasir Khan said that this notification/SRO has resulted in a straight 10% increase in the cost of importing edible oils in the country. Contrarily, during the same period, India and Bangladesh have reduced the cost of importing edible oils in their countries by 10% and 4% through providing various relief measures to edible oil manufacturers.

The Vice President urged for immediate withdrawal of the above-mentioned barbaric SRO to help edible oil manufacturers to avoid bankruptcy and continue to play their role in economic growth and employment generation.

According to him this illogical and illegal inclusion has caused a massive 20% to 25% increase in edible oil prices – which in turn – has pushed edible oil manufacturers of Pakistan on the verge of bankruptcy. Edible Oil is categorized as an essential commodity the world over and governments keep strong check over its production costs to enable manufacturers to keep selling at an affordable price. Otherwise, edible oil prices impact Sensitive Price Index (SPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) massively through food inflation and the lowest strata of the society is the most affected segment, whenever these indices go up.

Nasir Khan urged that instead of providing billions of rupees to Utility Stores Corporation (USC) to sell subsidized edible oils, the federal government should facilitate edible oil manufacturers through provisioning relief in taxes/ tariffs/ duties. In that manner, they will be able to cut down the edible oil prices; and, provide better and greater relief to consumers in the entire country than the USC could ever achieve.