April 20, 2016
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday demanded steps to ensure timely completion of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
It is in the national interest to keep (CPEC) operations uninterrupted that include enhancing national oil storage capacity which is currently at eight hundred thousand tonnes, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that oil storage capacity in Gilgit-Baltistan should be improved, water shortage in Balochistan should be tackled while steps should be taken to accept the challenge of shortage of lubricants.
The oil storage capacity should be enhanced while import and local production of lubricants should be encouraged by offering relief in import duty for six months which will automatically improve collections under the heads of sales tax, income tax and withholding tax.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that all the refineries are working while privatization has improved working of the National Refinery but its production cannot keep pace with demand.
Moreover, the custom officials have improved working of Pak-Iran border resulting in reduced smuggling and enhance revenue by 300 percent. All these developments should be kept in mind to promote lubricants sector, he demanded.
Getting benefit of the receding oil prices many countries are increasing their strategic reserves but Pakistan is not doing its best, he noted.
India can store fuel enough for requirements of two weeks, US two months, Switzerland four and a half months while all 27 EU countries must have storage enough to satisfy requirements for three months, he informed.
He said that China is improving storage capacity to offset emergency demand for three months which must act as a wakeup call for our policymakers.