| Shehbaz Sharif says consultation to

form cabinet is underway

ISLAMABAD   -  Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Friday rejected the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s proposal to hike prices of petroleum products in the country.

It was announced by the Prime Minister while addressing an Iftar Dinner at Prime Minister House in Islamabad on Friday night. He said that the people of the country would curse the new government if such a ‘mountain of inflation’ was unleashed on them. Shehbaz Sharif said government will bear burden of increase in prices of petroleum products itself instead of shifting it to the masses.

He said that the Prime Minister Office will now be working as Pakistan House where officers from across the country will serve. He said consultation is underway over formation of federal cabinet and it will soon be fianlised.

The federal government rejected the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) summary for up to Rs120/litre or 83.2pc increase in fuel prices and decided to keep the prices unchanged for the second fortnightly of April.

“Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has proposed significant increase in the prices of petroleum products. However, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has rejected the recommendations of OGRA and directed to maintain the petroleum products’ prices unchanged in order to provide relief to the common man,” said a statement issued by the Finance Division here.

Ogra had forwarded working paper based on two scenarios to the federal government for revision in Petroleum Prices. In its first calculations based on zero Petroleum Levy and Zero GST, OGRA had proposed increase of up to 35.7pc. For High Speed Diesel (HSD) Ogra hasd calculated an increase of Rs51.52 (35.7pc) from the existing Rs144.15/litre to Rs195.67/litre. Similarly for petrol the regulator had calculated an increase of Rs21.60/litre (14.2pc) from the existing Rs 149.86/litre to Rs171.46/litre. For Kerosene oil Ogra had recommended an increase of Rs36.03/litre (28.7pc) from Rs 125.56/litre to Rs161.61/litre. Ogra had calculated an increase of Rs38.89/litre (32.9pc) in the ex-depot price of light diesel oil (LDO) from Rs118.31/litre to Rs157.20/ litre.

However based on full GST of 17pc GST scenario on all products and Rs30 per litre petroleum levy each on HSD and petrol, Rs12/litre and Rs 10/litre respectively on kerosene and LDO  Ogra had proposed the Rs119.88/litre or (83.2pc) increase in HSD price from Rs 144.15/litre to Rs264.03/litre Similarly, Ogra had proposed an increase of Rs85.30/litre (57.4pc) in petrol taking its price to Rs235.16/litre from the existing Rs149.86/litre. For  Kerosene Ogra had recommended an increase of Rs77.86/litre (61.8pc), taking the price of SKO to Rs203.42/litre from the existing Rs125.56/litre.

Ogra has calculated an increase of Rs77.31/litre (65.34pc) in the price of LDO price taking the price of LDO to Rs195.62/litre from the existing  Rs118.31/litre.

Since the government has rejected Ogra’s recommendation,  therefore the prices of petroleum products will remain at the current level for next fortnightly (April 16-30).The prices of Petrol will remain at Rs 149.86/litre, HSD Rs144.15/litre, Kerosene Rs125.56/litre and LDO Rs118.31/litre.

The prices of petroleum products will be effective from 16th April till to April 30.