The government notified on Sunday an increase in oil prices by as much as Rs5.34 per litre effective from August 1.
It is learnt that the government had decided to increase fuel prices except high-speed diesel despite from opposition the finance ministry. In fact, the petroleum ministry had suggested to the ministry of finance to maintain the prices of petrol, high-speed diesel (HSD) and kerosene oil.
The price of petrol has been increased by 1.3% to Rs84.80 per litre while that of light diesel oil will rise by 2.4% to Rs83.52 per litre. The price of high speed diesel remained the same at Rs92.1 per litre as the government increased the petroleum tax on the product in the face of a Rs0.37 decline in its cost.
The highest increase was in the price of High Octane Blending Component (HOBC), which rose by 5.2% to Rs107.8 per litre.
Addressing a press conference, Ogra spokesman Syed Jawad Naseem said that Ogra was just a facilitator in the de-regulated mechanism of oil prices and petroleum and finance ministries decided whether to pass on impact of oil prices to the consumers or not.
He insisted that the decision to increase fuel prices was the government’s and Ogra had nothing to do with it.
He said that because of gas load shedding at CNG stations, the consumption of petrol had increased to 250,000 tons in July from 187,713 tons in the corresponding period last year. Due to increase in oil prices, the rate of general sales tax (GST) on petrol had also increased by one per cent, 5% on HOBC, 2.3% on kerosene oil and 2.6% on light diesel oil.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2011.