Petrol prices remain unchanged, at least for now

LAHORE: The federal cabinet in a meeting held here on Tuesday deferred the proposed price hike of up to 14 per cent in petroleum products by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and referred the matter to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for further consideration.

Earlier on Monday OGRA recommended a hike of Rs14.37 per litre in the price of petrol from May 01. According to reports published in sections of the media sources privy to the development said the OGRA had moved summary of increasing petroleum product prices to the petroleum division.

However, the Finance Ministry had to make the final decision with the consultation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“The Oil and Gas Regulatory Autho­rity had proposed a 14 per cent increase in oil prices, but the prime minister disagreed with the proposal and was of the view that burden of internationally increased prices of oil should not be transferred to the people,” Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan said at a post-cabinet meeting press conference.

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She went on to say that according to OGRA the oil prices had gone up in the international markets due to the new sanctions imposed by US President Donald Trump on Iran. “OGRA was of the view that either the government has to bear losses or the effect of internationally increased prices of oil be transferred to the consumers,” she added.

“Considering the agony of the people, the prime minister has not allowed the 14 per cent proposed increase in oil prices and referred the issue to the ECC which is meeting on May 2,” she said.

She also said that the government plans to conduct a full audit of the Rs1,300 billion circular debt that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has inherited from the outgoing government. “We want to bring facts before the people. Former rulers have left Rs100 billion debt only in Punjab,” she added.

In its summary, OGRA had also suggested Rs4.89 per litre increase in diesel prices, Rs7.46 per litre in kerosene oil and Rs6.40 per litre hike in Light diesel prices.

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