The price of all petroleum products – except for petrol – would be dearer by Rs3.10 for the next week starting from Monday, as per a summary sent on Saturday by the OMCs (oil marketing companies) and Ogra (Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority) for approval to finance and petroleum ministries.
The summary has sought Rs3.10 per litre increase in the price of high-speed diesel (HSD) oil, Rs1.92 increase for Kerosene oil and Rs1.23 for light diesel oil (LDO). Similarly, a surge of Rs3 per litre in the price of high-octane blended component (HOBC) is expected on average basis due to the imposition of an ECC decision by October 1 to deregulate freight margin on HOBC.
Following that, prices of HOBC, which is produced only by Pak Arab Refinery Company located in Mehmoodkot, near Multan, will vary across the country. However, Rs2.09 per litre decrease has been purposed in petrol price, and owing to 60 per cent set price parity mechanism between the price of petrol and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), the CNG price has been proposed to be cut down up to Rs1.75/kilogram.
The National Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution the other day urging the government to revive old monthly oil pricing mechanism and fix the frequent fluctuation in POL prices but sources said that Advisor to the PM on Petroleum Affairs Dr Asim Hussain was adamant at keeping his “irrational and impractical” policies stating them to be need of the hour.
Urging the government to immediately withdraw the decision to review prices on weekly basis and to put in place an open and transparent system for price fixation, the Lower House resolution strongly depreciated the frequent increase in prices of petroleum products which is causing immense misery and suffering to the common man and adversely affecting industrial, agricultural and transport sectors bringing the economy to the brink of collapse.
The resolution presented by a PML-N lawmaker said that these increases are not only unbearable, but price fluctuations are now taking place on a weekly basis, giving rise to huge uncertainty, artificial shortages and higher costs. It also called upon the government to review the Petroleum Levy (PL) in the light of previous unanimous resolutions of the House and statements of the Advisor for Petroleum in the Senate.”
Paying no heed to the misery of the common man and fragile economy, the government has so far also set aside the continuous recommendations of the NA Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources, which had been working as a watchdog on the affairs of petroleum and natural resources, and Ogra, which is entrusted with credible task of monitoring the affairs of petroleum and natural resources, to switch to the old oil pricing mechanism.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) told the Senate Standing Committee on Finance that the government has so far lost Rs7 billion in revenue due to this new mechanism. Following this revelation, that panel also recommended switching back to the monthly review mechanism.