ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the federal cabinet will review a summary for an increase in petroleum product prices in its meeting due to be held on Friday.
Initially, the meeting was to take place on Thursday, however, the federal government changed the schedule and the meeting will now be held on Friday.
The ECC will examine an 18-point agenda, which includes the revision in oil prices. Officials said anticipating a severe public reaction, the cabinet had deferred the matter on Tuesday.
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) had recommended the federal government on Monday to increase prices of petroleum products by up to 15% for May, following fluctuation in global oil prices.
Ogra proposed an increase of Rs14.37 per litre in motor spirit (MS), Rs4.39 per litre in high-speed diesel (HSD), Rs7.45 per litre in kerosene oil and Rs6.40 per litre in light diesel oil (LDO).
Had the proposal been approved, the rate of petrol would have reached Rs113.26 per litre from the current Rs98.89, reflecting an increase of 15%. With an increase of 3.7%, the HSD price would have gone up from Rs117.43 per litre to Rs121.82.
Similarly, the price of LDO would have been dearer by Rs6.40 to Rs86.94 per litre from the present Rs80.54. The kerosene oil rate would have risen by Rs7.45 per litre to Rs96.76.
Officials revealed that ECC members would discuss whether to transfer the entire or partial burden of the increase in oil prices to the consumers or to defer the increase altogether. In case of delay, it will be examined as to how this burden will be borne by the national treasury. All these affairs will be discussed in the ECC meeting.
The meeting will also discuss the plan of reviving operations of Pakistan Steel Mills. A summary for approval of the appointment of transaction advisory consortium for the revival of steel mills will also be presented.
A summary of supplementary grants for the Punjab Rangers and the allocation of Rs37.2 million for the interior ministry will also be examined.
A summary for supplementary grant of Rs540 million for the National Savings Organisation and budget recommendations for EOBI for the current year will be presented.
The matter of salaries of South Waziristan’s Khasadar force is also included in the agenda. The issue of supplementary grant for 1,000 industrial stitching units will also be examined while a summary for the provision of gas by SSGC to Thal East, Bhambra and Thal West fields will be presented.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2019.