ISLAMABAD – Cash-starved government in a desperate bid Tuesday added to the miseries of the already overburdened consumers by increasing the prices of POL products up to six per cent while a surcharge up to Rs 14.70 per mmbtu was also imposed on CNG with immediate effect.Though Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), in a bid to benefit the consumers, has recommended the government to maintain the POL prices by reducing the petroleum levy, yet the Finance Ministry, turning down the recommendations of Ogra, has approved further hike in the already sky-high prices of POL products from three to six per cent. Similarly, Ogra had recommended no increase in gas prices but were overruled by the Federal Government.According to Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s notification pertaining the prices of petroleum oil and lubricants (POL) for the current month, a further hike of Rs 5.37 per litre in motor gasoline (petrol), high octane blended component (HOBC) Rs 6.29 per litre, high speed diesel (HSD) Rs4.64 per litre, light diesel oil (LDO) Rs 3.43 per litre and kerosene Rs 2.78 per litre has been given this time. Moreover, Finance Ministry has jacked up the ratio of petroleum levy (PL) on HSD by Rs 1.32 per litre. Resultantly, the PL on HSD has reached a high level of Rs6.50 per litre.It is to note here that in accordance with upward trend of oil prices in the international market, the price of HSD was likely to go up by Rs3.11 per litre. After this recent surge, new price of petrol has reached at Rs 94.91 per litre, HOBC Rs 118.20 per litre, HSD Rs 103.46 per litre, kerosene oil Rs 92.02 per litre and the per litre price of LDO has touched Rs 90.21 per litre.Meanwhile, petroleum ministry has issued a notification of imposition of 10 per cent gas infrastructure development surcharge on compressed natural gas (CNG) with effect from today (1st February).Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has issued a notification pertaining to the revised prices of the CNG after the issuance of notification from ministry of petroleum and natural resources with effect from start of the February. According to the notification of the ministry, a surcharge worth Rs 14.70 per mmbtu has been imposed on the regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Potohar while Rs 7.90/mmbtu has been decided to impose on Sindh and Punjab regions. In this way, with an increase of 71 paisa, the price of CNG in the region one has touched a record high level of Rs74.29 per kilogram while after this hike of 36 paisa for region two, CNG will be available at Rs 69.60/kg in this region.It is worth mentioning that government had reduced 10 per cent surcharge on 4th January succumbing to the pressure of CNG association’s countrywide strike.