by AHMAD AHMADANI
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has worked out an increase of up to Rs6.93 per litre in the prices of petroleum products, Pakistan Today learnt on Thursday.
Sources disclosed to this scribe that the regulator (OGRA) has forwarded a working paper regarding oil prices for the next month to the ministry of petroleum and natural resources and recommended upward revision in the prices of petroleum oil and lubricants (POL) products. However, the final decision will be taken by cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before the start of the New Year.
According to OGRA’s working paper, the sources said the price of petrol, mainly used in cars, may face a hike of 31paisa per litre, while the consumers of the High-Speed Diesel (HSD), which is mostly used in the transport and agriculture sectors, may witness a hike of Rs 3.94 per liter, and the price of kerosene oil (SKO), used for cooking purposes in remote areas, to rise by Rs6.93 per litre in the next month. Similarly, the price of light diesel oil (LDO), mainly used for industrial purposes, may record an increase of Rs3.48 during the next month of January, they added.
“Viewing political pressure, it is expected that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government will not approve hike as OGRA works out in its working paper,” sources said, adding, “ The government has the capability to absorb the impact of the proposed increase in oil prices by adjusting tax rates on petroleum products”.
Official sources on the condition of anonymity said that oil marketing companies (OMCs) have repeatedly asked the government to jack up the prices of petroleum products (POL) apparently to earn inventory gains. The finance ministry after getting consent from the premier will announce the future prices of POL products on 31st December, they added.
Moreover, CNG prices have been increased by up to Rs3.5 per kg across Sindh – the first hike following the government’s decision to deregulate the country’s CNG market.
CNG prices in Karachi, as well as, the rest of Sindh have now climbed to Rs 70-71 per kg following a hike of Rs 2.5-3.5 per kg.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Petroleum had issued a notice stating that CNG prices were now free from the OGRA regulation.