5pc hike in POL prices likely

ISLAMABAD - Viewing the upward trend of oil prices in the international oil market, prices of petroleum products are likely to witness a heavy hike up to Rs 5 per litre with the start of 2014. However, a final decision either to give the masses a new year gift in the form of subsidy or increased POL prices would be made by the PML-N government on December 13, 2013.
Well-aware sources told The Nation that as increase in oil rates has been recorded in Arab Gulf market, its prices are likely to rise up to Rs 5/litre with the start of January 2014. According to estimates, per litre price of petrol will go up by Rs 3.30, high speed diesel (HSD) by Rs 4.70, high octane blended component (HOBC) by Rs 5, kerosene oil by Rs 3.25, and light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs 3.75.
According to the estimates made so far about the new POL prices, if the government decides to pass on the increase recorded in the global oil market, the petrol price will stand at Rs 117/litre, diesel (HSD) at Rs 121/litre and HOBC price will reach above Rs 150/litre in the open market of the country, said a senior official at the Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry.
The sources also said Ogra would consult the oil marketing companies (OMCs) and determine inland freight equalisation margin (IFEM) of petroleum products. The regulatory authority would despatch its new oil prices summary on December 27 to the government. They also said the Finance Ministry would set new POL prices as per the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The ministry can decrease the share of already imposed petroleum levy (PL) on the POL prices. However, after getting the nod of the premier, announcement of new POL prices will be made on eve of December 31, they added.

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