September 24, 2018: Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) on Monday said the recent hike in the gas tariff will increase the price of ghee and cooking oil by five rupees per kilogram hitting the underprivileged.
An increase of 30 percent in the tariff of gas will push up the price of the 16kg tin of ghee by Rs80 hitting the majority of the people, therefore, it should be reversed, it said.
The per capita consumption of ghee and cooking oil in Pakistan is already almost half of the global average which will go down further after the increase in the price of this important commodity, said Sheikh Abdul Waheed, Chairman PVMA.
He said that higher prices will result in reduced consumption of this food item leading to malnutrition to intensify the issue of food security, therefore, authorities can consider shielding this important sector of the economy from the recent escalation in gas price.
Sheikh Abdul Waheed said upward revision in the tariff of gas will not only reduce production as well as consumption but it will also hit revenue and exports while paving way for smuggling and imports hitting the economy.
Therefore, he said, the tariff of natural gas for vanaspati manufacturers should be reversed to Rs600 per mmbtu from Rs780 per mmbtu.
He said that government should try to maintain a balance in the price of edibles like other countries and slap addition taxes and duties on import of luxuries only to generate more revenue.
Local exploration was put at the back burner for five years while import of costly LNG was promoted which increased cost of doing business, damaged the economy and the masses, he said.