Govt jacks up prices of petrol, diesel

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The government on Wednesday jacked up the prices of petrol and diesel for the month of December, but kept prices of kerosene and light diesel oil (LDO) unchanged.

According to the government’s announcement, price of petrol has gone up by Rs2 per litre, while price of high speed diesel (HSD) has witnessed a hike of Rs 2.70/litre.

However, prices of kerosene, which used for cooking purposes in remote areas where liquefied petroleum gas is not readily available, and LDO, which is mainly used for industrial purposes, would remain at the current level during December.

New price of HSD, which is mostly used in the transport and agriculture sectors, would stand at Rs 75.22/litre after a raise of Rs2.70, and petrol after a hike of Rs2 per litre would be available at Rs 66.27 in the open market in December.

Informed sources told this scribe that Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) would soon announce the price of high octane blended component (HOBC), which is mainly used in luxury cars. OMCs were likely to announce a hike of Rs6/litre for December, they added.

The new prices for petroleum products were announced by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar during a press conference at the Finance Ministry late on Wednesday.

Dar said the government would bear a loss of Rs 4 billion due to provision of relief to the common man on prices of petroleum products.

The minister said that in order to maintain stability since April 2016, prices of POL products had been maintained despite fluctuation in international prices, and that the government had been absorbing the negative financial impact as the impact of increase was not passed on to the end-consumers.

Dar further said the government had decided to provide maximum relief to the underprivileged so it decided to maintain the prices of kerosene and LDO at the same level for the month of December 2016.

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had recommended an increase in prices by 6.24% in MS 92 RON petrol, 7.47% in HSD and6.49% in kerosene oil with effect from December 1.

The increase recommended by OGRA was Rs 4.01/litre in MS 92 RON petrol, Rs 5.42/litre for HSD and Rs 2.81/litre for kerosene oil.

Federal Cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had, in its meeting on August 18 decided to switch over from existing petrol 87 RON to minimum 92 RON with effect from November to ensure improved quality product for end-users. Petrol 92 RON is of much higher quality and the new OGRA proposed price reflect the increase in international price as well as premium for a higher quality product.