ISLAMABAD - In a latest development, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has refused to increase the price of petrol by Rs 8.43 per litre and collection of high premium from the pressed consumers with the start of next month (July), under the context of import of 45 million litres of expansive petrol by the Pakistan State Oil (PSO).
Official sources in the PSO informed TheNation on the condition of anonymity that the Ogra had written a letter containing concerns on the import at an expansive rate in comparison with the price prevailing in the international market. They said the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MP&NR) had directed the PSO to import petrol due to the possible shortage owing to a dispute between the MP&NR and the dealers over the price hike of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). They said the PSO, in pursuance of the MP&NR directives, had imported a consignment on June 15 and paid a high premium of US$249 against the market rate of US$108. That is why the Ogra refused to collect the premium from the overburdened consumers. The PSO has imported the cargo through MT CS Amethyst BL on June 15 at a premium of US$249.50 per metric tonne, which is on the higher side at an alarming level. The cost of this shipment was most unusual even for a gallop cargo, as its cost, if included in PMG price, would result in an increase of Rs 8.43 per litre despite substantial decrease in cost of POL products in world market. In view of the above, the regulatory authority directed the PSO to restrict premium of the above cargo to the level of US$108, as quoted by Petro China through Tender No PSO/MG87RON/OMPORTs/033/2012, in order to protect public at large. It is also learnt that the per litre petrol price would decrease by Rs 3.05 with the start of next month due to non-inclusion of additional high premium, as Ogra has declared it detrimental to the interests of consumers.
The regulator has directed the PSO to approach the MP&NR for the collection of additional premium under the head price differential claim. However, the minister will give his final decision for the collection of additional premium from the consumers after consulting the finance minister in this regard June 30.
Sources further said if the petroleum minister ordered the authority to collect additional premium from the hard-pressed consumers, the price will be increased by Rs 8.43 per litre. However, the prices of other POL products Petrol will witness a decrease up to Rs 6 per litre during first half of July.
They told that the price of high-octane blended component (HOBC) was likely to be decreased by Rs 6 per litre, while the per litre prices of high speed diesel (HSD) and light diesel oil (LDO) were also expected to be decreased by Rs 1.50 and Rs2.65 respectively. Similarly, per litre price of Kerosene oil is also likely to be slashed by Rs 2.45.
It is worth mentioning that Ogra would send its summary to the MP&NR today (Thursday), seeking cut in the prices of POL products for the first half of July.