FBR hikes sales tax rates on petroleum products

FBR hikes sales tax rates on petroleum products

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued a notification, SRO 1579(I)/2021, announcing revisions in the sales tax rates on various petroleum products, excluding petrol.

The move highlights adjustments in taxation to address fiscal considerations and maintain a balance between government revenue and consumer affordability.

The latest revision, released on Tuesday, follows a prior notification, SRO 1450(I)/2021, issued on November 11, 2021, which also addressed changes in sales tax rates on petroleum products.

The significant adjustment in the recent notification is the reduction of sales tax on petrol to zero percent from the previous rate of 1.43 percent. This decision aligns with the government’s effort to provide relief to consumers by eliminating sales tax on petrol.

Contrary to the reduction in sales tax on petrol, the rates for other petroleum products have seen increases:

1. High-Speed Diesel (HSD): The sales tax rate on HSD has been raised to 7.20 percent from the previous 6.75 percent.

2. Kerosene Oil: The sales tax on the supply of kerosene oil has been enhanced to 8.19 percent from the earlier 6.70 percent.

3. Light Diesel Oil (LDO): The sales tax rate on LDO has been increased to 0.46 percent from the previous 0.2 percent.

This adjustment in sales tax rates indicates that the government has opted to retain a portion of the reduction in international oil prices rather than passing on the entire benefit to consumers. The government had, on November 30, 2021, announced a decision to keep the prices of petroleum products unchanged for the next fortnight.

The decision to revise sales tax rates on specific petroleum products reflects the government’s dynamic approach to managing fiscal affairs in response to global economic conditions. It also illustrates the delicate balance required to sustain revenue streams while considering the impact on consumers.

The reduction in sales tax on petrol may provide some relief to consumers, especially amid fluctuating global oil prices. However, the increased rates for other petroleum products suggest that the government is striving to strike a balance between fiscal responsibility and consumer welfare.

As economic conditions continue to evolve, adjustments in taxation and pricing policies become essential tools for governments to navigate challenges effectively. The FBR’s recent decision is part of this ongoing effort to adapt to changing dynamics and ensure a sustainable fiscal policy that meets both economic and public welfare objectives. The impact of these changes on consumers and industries will be closely monitored as stakeholders assess the broader implications for the economy.