The government kept fuel prices unchanged on Monday in a bid to provide relief to consumers during the fasting month of Ramazan.
According to a statement issued by the PM House, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rejected the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority’s (Ogra) summary for upward revision of petroleum prices effective from July 1 (today).
Instead, the government decided to give a subsidy of half a billion rupees to ensure there is no change in the petroleum prices and that relief is provided to the masses.
“It may be noted that last time the subsidy on petroleum prices was Rs1.78 billion,” said the statement.
According to summary moved to finance and petroleum ministries by Ogra, the price of petrol was supposed to go up by Rs0.84 per litre, High Octane Blending Component (HOBC) Rs3.63 per litre, kerosene oil Rs0.30 per litre, High Speed Diesel (HSD) Rs0.27 per litre and Light Diesel Oil (LDO) Rs0.22 per litre.
The revision in prices was proposed following a hike in global fuel prices due to bad condition in Iraq where insurgents had occupied an oil field. For the month of June, PM Nawaz had also halted any increase in fuel prices to provide relief to the consumers.
Officials said that the finance ministry tried its best to convince the prime minister that the proposed hike in petroleum prices should be passed on to the consumers in a bid to collect more revenue.
However, the PM rejected the finance ministry’s demand and directed it to keep oil prices unchanged. Officials said the proposed increase in oil prices had been absorbed in the petroleum levy.
The price of petrol, HSD, LDO, kerosene oil and HOBC has been maintained at Rs109.97, Rs109.34, Rs94.13, Rs134.63 per litre and Rs94.70, respectively.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2014.
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