ISLAMABAD: Awami National Party (ANP) on Saturday submitted an adjournment motion in the senate against the increase in prices of petroleum products.
The motion was submitted by ANP Senators Zahid Khan and Afrasayab Khattak.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) have already submitted adjournment motions against the price hike. PML-N submitted their motion in the National Assembly while the JI submitted it in the Senate.
Updated from print edition (below)
Dropping the petrol bomb: Govt hikes fuel prices, inflation set to surge
The government on Friday increased the prices of petroleum products from 5.4 per cent to as high as 9 per cent effective January 1. This was done to offset the impact of continuous rise in oil prices in international markets, said a government spokesman.
The maximum percentage increase was recorded in petrol prices according to Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra). With a rise of Rs6.71 per litre, petrol will now retail at Rs 79.67 per litre, registering a nine per cent increase over the previous price of Rs 72.96 per litre and an almost 18 per cent increase compared to the rates two months ago. The decision is likely spur a second round of inflation as it would translate into an increase in transport costs. Inflation is already touching 16 per cent, against the revised target of 14 per cent, mainly due to massive government borrowings from the central bank, warn analysts.
Secretary Petroleum Imtiaz Kazi said that the government earns Rs250 billion annually in revenues from petroleum products.
High Octane Blending Component (HOBC) prices increased Rs 7.69 per litre to Rs94.36 per litre, registering a rise of 8.7 per cent over last month and soaring by 17.6 per cent over the price two months ago.
Meanwhile ex-depot prices for the ‘fuel for the poor’, kerosene oil, surged by Rs4.04 per litre, or 5.6 per cent, to Rs74.99 per litre. Kerosene’s price has surged by 13.4 per cent over the past two months.
Price for high speed diesel (HSD) increased Rs4.25 per litre, or 5.4 per cent, to retail at Rs82.58 per litre while light diesel oil’s price increased by Rs4.36 per litre, or 6.2 per cent, to retail at Rs70.97 per litre. Their prices have surged by 11.5 and 13 per cent over the past two months respectively.
According to Ogra, the prices of the petroleum products have increased from 3 to 9 per cent in the international market. Petrol prices have increased by 9.2 per cent, kerosene oil by 5.4 per cent, high speed diesel by 5.8 per cent, furnace oil by 3.1 per cent, and Arab light crude oil prices surged by 6.6 per cent, Ogra said.
Meanwhile the government is also under pressure from the international donors to phase out electricity subsides and while the pressure from the International Monetary Fund is mounting, the decision has been withheld due to its political fallout of such a move.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2011.