ISLAMABAD - Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority has hinted at increasing petroleum products prices from March 1, linking it to depreciation of Pakistani currency and unprecedented hike in international crude oil prices.

While briefing the NA Standing Committee on Energy (Petroleum Division), Chairman Ogra Masroor Khan said, “Situation is in front of you as there is no precedent for rising oil prices in international market which had occurred during past 12 weeks.” The meeting was chaired by Imran Khattak. OGRA chairman said the rupee has also depreciated sharply against the dollar. He said that the government is receiving Rs 14 petroleum levy per litre while GST is zero. The money coming into the treasury is being compromised, he added.

Chairman of the committee asked that how the situation in Russia and Ukraine will impact the prices of POL products in the country? Chairman Ogra responded that from the current situation, you can guess the answer. As prices go up, the burden will fall on the people, chairman Ogra added. Khurrum Dastagir asked is there any fear of rising diesel prices? Chairman OGRA Masroor Khan replied that the Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) and other stakeholders have expressed their concern in this regard. Masroor Khan further informed that the formula of oil prices determination has not changed and they are still following the old formula. Briefing the committee on Pak Stream Gas Pipeline, Secretary Petroleum Ali Raza Bhutta informed that talks with Russia on Pak Stream Gas Pipeline are completed and agreement in this regard will be inked soon. He said that Russia will also invest and lay the pipeline. He said that ground work on the project will be started soon. Secretary petroleum further informed that PLL has purchased another expensive LNG cargo for March. The cargo was purchased at a rate of 25.12 per MMBtu.

While Standing Committee approved the minutes of the previous meeting and also approved the previous recommendations of the Committee along-with few changes recommended by the Committee and details thereon will be described in the detailed report of the meeting. Moreover, Standing Committee unanimously approved the Scrutiny of budgetary proposal of the Ministry relating to Public Sector Development Program (PSDP). Two (govt bills) were taken up by the Committee in the meeting and decided that the “the Petroleum (Amendment) Bill, 2021” may be passed by the National Assembly whereon Law Ministry has provided few technical legislative drafting related corrections to be incorporated as well. Whereon, the “The Pakistan Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority Bill, 2022” (govt bill) may be deferred for further deliberation thereupon.