July 19, 1999
I would like to invite the attention of the concerned authorities
towards exorbitant prices of different brands of locally manufactured cigarettes in the
For example, the cigarette dealers had increased prices of various
brands from the next day of the federal budget in which Central Excise duty was increased
by 7 per cent. The price of Gold Leaf brand manufactured by Pakistan Tobacco was increased
by Rs6 per pack i.e. from Rs29 to Rs35 from the very next day of the budget. However, the
increase in central excise duty was withdrawn but the prices were not reduced.
Now the Pakistan Tobacco has introduced a new pack of its Gold Leaf
brand on which retail price is mentioned as Rs24.83 plus Sales Tax Rs3.72 the total retail
price comes to Rs28.55. But practically it is being sold at Rs34/- by the retailers who
are extorting an additional amount of Rs.5.45 profit per pack. The government on the other
hand not only wihdrawn the additional central excise duty announced in the budget but also
abolished Octroi and Zillah tax but the benefit of this historic decision is not being
passed on to the consumers.
The authorities responsible for maintaining consumer item prices are
urged to take immediate action and ask the tobacco companies to publish their rates of
different brands of cigarettes in the press to discourage the profiteers who are out to
mint money without any fear of law in this country.
Karachi Nisar Khokar
Eat the Words
Despite tall claims the load shedding menace keeps on disrupting
life-every day at any given hour across a number of areas in Karachi.
About a month ago the newly appointed chairman of Karachi Electric
Supply Corporation and the Karachi based minister of state for water and power, Haleem
Siddiqui, boasted of eradicating the load-shedding in the city. Both should eat their
Belittling the intelligence of the people seems to have become a
favourite past time for the authorities of all dispositions and levels. Instead of showing
any remorse for the incessant power failures the authorities are conveniently taking a
shelter behind technicalities. For instance, they have come up with an absolutely
unconvincing theory the ongoing power disruptions at present are not load-sheddings
but breakdowns as if it absolves them of their responsibility.
For three consecutive days power supply in my area remained suspended
for about half-a-dozen time the longest lasting for six hours. It was disrupted all times
of day and night to turn life miserable for consumers who are charged premium tariff on
Average basis bills based on high exaggerated monthly consumption irrespective of
the power supply. Who says fraud doesnt pay?
The power consumers of Karachi are forced to foot highly excessive
bills for a service which consumers in any civilised country would not even like to have
for free. Such is the fearful monopoly of the KESC that it has no qualms to accuse its
consumers of every crime under the sun without making any real attempts to curtail
corruption at levels within the company to improve its performance.
Karachi Javed Hassan