ISLAMABAD: On the prime minister’s list of things to do today (Saturday) is the decision regarding POL prices and in consultation with the ministries of petroleum and natural resources and finance and revenue, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf is expected to choose whether to increase POL prices with immediate effect or to reduce the petroleum levy.
Given the sharp uptick in the prices of crude oil in the international market during last fortnight – an increase of $4.50 per barrel – the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) had sent a summary to the government recommending a decrease in the petroleum levy. This, said Ogra officials, would keep POL prices at existing levels for the fortnight beginning on August 1, 2012.
However, if the cash-strapped government decides it cannot forego the amount to be collected under the higher petroleum levy, the prime minister and his coterie will end up signing off an increase in the prices.
In that case, the price of petrol will go up by Rs7.67 per litre; CNG by Rs5.30 per kg; High Octane Blending Component by Rs7.73 per litre; High Speed Diesel by Rs4.58 per litre; kerosene by Rs4.49 per litre and light diesel by Rs4.64 per litre.
Further, with the hike in the price of petrol, the CNG price will also swell by Rs5.30 per kg. The increase in fuel prices is expected to set off another inflationary spiral in the country before Eid.