News Desk |
Just after a month’s time, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has once again proposed to the government an increase of Rs14.37 per litre in the price of petroleum from the start of the next month.
The per litre price of petrol would rise to Rs113.26, high-speed diesel to Rs122.32, kerosene oil to Rs96.77, and light diesel oil to Rs86.94 if OGRA’s recommendations are accepted.
In a summary moved by OGRA, the media reported, the regulatory body has recommended an increase of Rs4.89 per litre in the price of high-speed diesel, adding the body has recommended a price hike of Rs7.46 per litre in kerosene oil and Rs6.40 per litre in light diesel oil prices.
Though the Ministry of Finance will make the final decision in consultation with Prime Minister Imran Khan, it is pertinent to mention that the prices of petrol and diesel are already at their highest level since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government came into power after the general elections in July 2018.
OGRA has moved the summary after the price of international crude oil rose by less than 2 per cent over the previous month. Last month, the government increased the per litre price of petrol and high-speed diesel by Rs6 to Rs98.89 and Rs117.43 respectively, and of light speed diesel and kerosene oil by Rs3 to Rs80.54 and Rs89.31 per litre, respectively.
Fasten Seatbelts, ‘Difficulties’ Ahead
As indicated by the former finance minister Asad Umar that the difficulties of citizens and the economy would continue for at least two years before the government’s economic reforms took root, the government is once again ready to drop petrol bomb on people just before the holy month of Ramadan.
On April 1, the ex-minister had defended ORGA’s decision to increase petroleum prices by up to 6.45 per cent saying the body had proposed double the price increase but that was not fully passed on to consumers.
When reminded that he used to advocate for Rs40-50 per litre price for petrol when in opposition, Umar had replied that the rates were double when the PTI came in the power. He had alleged that the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government had been playing with oil prices.
The minister had maintained that he had been absolutely correct in demanding those prices then because the international oil price had been in the range of $30-32 per barrel — and that it were now more than doubled.
He said the government had passed on just half of the increase in prices proposed by the regulator. Apparently, the half of the prices that were not increased last month, might be increased in May 2019.
Fuel Prices in India
The Indian media reported that the motorists tanking up at fuel depots have not been complaining for some time now as there has been no drastic change in petrol and diesel prices over the past month-and-a-half, though there have been daily revisions.
Industry stakeholders, including retail dealers, say this has to do with the Lok Sabha polls which are under way and anticipate a steep hike in prices soon after the election results on May 23.
Currently, the media said, retail prices of petrol and diesel were Rs74.84 and Rs69.88, respectively, on March 10 and they were being sold at Rs75.33 and Rs68.61, respectively, on April 24. Most of the days, they said, the prices remained unchanged.