Govt allows ‘sky high’ raise in petrol prices

Petrol and high speed diesel price up by rs 35/litre, Kerosene oil is now available at rs 189.83/litre and light diesel oil rs 187/litre n finance minister ishaq dar explains petrol prices in international market have increased by 11 per cent, recalls on Pm’s instructions petrol prices remained unchanged during the last four months n terms fiscal discipline vital for economic prosperity.

ISLAMABAD         -      The government has jacked up the prices of petrol and high speed diesel (HSD) by Rs 35/litre each owing to increase in the oil prices in international market and depreciation of Pakistani rupee against the US dollar.

In a short televised address on Sunday morning, the Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar has announced increase in the prices of all the petroleum products, including petrol, HSD, kerosene and light diesel oil (LDO). It has been decided to increase the price of petrol and diesel by Rs35 per litre, said the minister. The prices of kerosene oil and light diesel oil have been enhanced by Rs18/litre, he announced. After the increase, the price of high speed diesel has gone up to Rs 262.80/litre from the previous Rs 227.80/litre. The price of motor spirit/petrol hit record high at Rs 249.80/ litre from the early Rs 214.80/ litre. Kerosene oil gone to Rs 189.83/litre from the earlier Rs 171.83/litre. The price of light diesel oil has increased to Rs 187/litre from Rs 169/litre.

Ishaq Dar recalled that during the last four months, from October to Jan 29, the price of petrol was not increased. The prices of diesel and kerosene oil were decreased, he added.

Pakistani rupee depreciated by almost 12pc against the US dollar last week, while the oil prices increased by 11pc in the international market. Despite international prices and rupee devaluation, on directions of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, it has been decided to make minimum increase in the prices of the petroleum products, the finance minister said. Dar said that the increase is being done immediately on the recommendation of the oil and gas regulatory authority (OGRA).According to OGRA, there were reports of artificial shortages and hoarding of fuel in anticipation of price hike, hence this price rise is being done immediately to combat the artificial shortage, he added. The new prices would come into effect within next two to three minutes, by 11am, Dar maintained.

The minister hoped that the announcement of new prices would dispel rumours about petrol supplies running dry. The government resorted to adjustments of fuel prices three days ahead of the scheduled revision, which was due on January 31, owing to oil shortage in the country.

Due to speculation of up to Rs80/litre hike in the prices of petrol and HSD, petrol pumps across country have stopped selling the fuel on Saturday. There were rumours of hefty hike in oil prices for the next fortnightly, the petrol pumps have started hoarding and an artificial shortage was created, where more than 80pc petrol pumps were closed in some regions of the country.

Meanwhile official source told The Nation that the government has calculated the oil prices on the basis of oil prices till October 27, while the average rupee conversion rate of Rs 236/dollar was taken.

The Refinery price of the HSD has increased by Rs 37.56/litre from Rs183.80/litre on January 16 to Rs 221.26/litre. The petroleum levy on HSD has been increased by Rs 5/litre to Rs 40/litre from the previous Rs 35/litre, the source said. The IFEM on HSD has decreased by Rs 7.49/litre, while the extra margin has decreased by Rs 0.07/litre from earlier Rs021/ litre to Rs 0.14/litre.The refinery price of petrol has also increased by Rs 19.59/ litre from Rs157.88/litre on January 16 to Rs 177.47/litre during the new price adjustment. IFEM on petrol has also been increased by Rs 15.41/ litre from negative Rs 6.08 /litre to Rs 9.33/litre. Distribution margin on petrol has increased by Rs 1/litre from the earlier Rs4/litre to Rs5/litre. The government is charging Rs 50/litre petroleum levy on petrol. The government has increased petroleum levy on kerosene by Rs 0.32/litre, while for LDO, it has been decreased by Rs 3.20/litre.

The new prices will be effective till February 15, 2023.

Earlier, while addressing the concluding session of two-day Bacha Khan Conference here, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said fiscal discipline is inevitable for prosperity of the country and only then can democracy be stabilized.

He said we have to get rid of reliance on foreign aid. He said late Bacha Khan had also promoted the concept of utilizing domestic sources instead of the imported ones.

Ishaq Dar said we must learn to uphold the dignity of our country in the comity of nations. He urged all political forces to join hands to steer the county out of current economic crisis.The Finance Minister eulogized the services of great Pashtun leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan famously known as Bacha Khan. Referring to Bacha Khan’s Khudai Khidmatgar movement, the Finance Miniter said the concept is still relevant as politics should be for the service of people.

Earlier, former Prime Minister and Pakistan People’s Party leader Senator Yusuf Raza Gillani called for abidance by Constitution for supremacy of law and strengthening of democracy in the country.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt