Govt raises petrol prices by whopping Rs20

ISLAMABAD  -  While announcing the last revision of its ten­ure, the federal gov­ernment has increased the prices of Petrol and High Speed Diesel by Rs 19.95/litre and 19.90/litre respectively for the first fortnightly of Au­gust. Under the biweek­ly price adjustment mechanism, the review was due on Monday (July 31), however, the government was reluc­tant, owing to upward trends in the interna­tional oil market and depreciation of Paki­stani rupee against the US dollar, and, there­fore, delayed the an­nouncement for one day till August 1, 2023.

In his short tele­vised address on Tues­day morning, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar an­nounced the massive hike taking the price of Petrol to Rs272.95/litre and High Speed Diesel to Rs 273.40/litre.

While explaining the reasons behind the delay in the announcement of the revised oil prices, the finance minister said the ba­sic reason was that they were looking at if there were ways to reduce the proposed in­crease. The government had checked the working of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authori­ty (OGRA) until the late Monday night.

The minister said that the price of high speed diesel (HSD) and petrol had in­creased over the last 15 days in the inter­national market.

In the current fortnight, petroleum prod­ucts prices in the international market have increased substantially. Petrol price has increased from $89.14 per barrel on 16th July 2023 to $97.39 on 31st July 2023, whereas, High Speed Diesel price has in­creased from $96.26 to $111.46 per barrel. 

Ishaq Dar said that the matter was then discussed with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif earlier Tuesday.

“We all know that we have internation­al commitments with the Internation­al Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding the pe­troleum development levy, if they weren’t there then we would’ve announced a small­er hike,” Ishaq Dar said and added that “We are in IMF programme, everyone knows we have a standby agreement.” If you remem­ber, the problem in the previous govern­ment tenure was that they didn’t fulfil their international commitments with IMF on Petroleum Levy and had reduced it at the time of their departure, he recalled.

“So in the country’s interest, it is neces­sary that the minimum calculated hike be passed on to the consumers. HSD is being increased by Rs19.90/litre and the new price will be Rs273.40/litre. And petrol price is being increased by Rs19.95/litre to Rs272.95/litre,” Dar said.

“However, international prices are not in the government’s control. And as I said, we did the working to the last penny to reduce the increase in the prices,” he said.

Meanwhile, Finance Division in a state­ment said that the cost of petroleum prod­ucts in Pakistan is directly linked to the international prices of these products. Therefore, the increase in domestic pric­es is inevitable and beyond the control of the Government of Pakistan, the state­ment said.

As per the official documents, the gov­ernment didn’t change GST and PL on both the products for the next fortnightly. The GST will remain zero, while PL will remain at Rs 55/litre till August 15.

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