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Ogra warns against petrol price speculations

Federal ministers claimed last week that petrol price would be reduced after rupee's gains against dollar

By Saif Ur Rehman
September 25, 2023
A petrol station in Karachi. — AFP/File
A petrol station in Karachi. — AFP/File 

After federal ministers claimed the POL rates would likely be reduced in the next fortnightly review, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Monday advised against speculating on the price of petroleum products.

Following the rupee's gains against the dollar, Caretaker Federal Commerce and Industries Minister Gohar Ejaz and Interim Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi said last week that POL prices would be reduced.

In the last 14 days, the rupee has gained around Rs16 against the greenback, prompting the claims, as Pakistan, being an importer of POL, purchases the commodity in dollars.

In the previous fortnightly review, the caretaker government had jacked up the petrol price by more than Rs26 and diesel by over Rs17 per litre to Rs331.38 and Rs329.18, respectively — the highest in history.

In response to the ministers' claims, Ogra issued a statement saying: "[the authority] would like to emphasize the importance of avoiding speculations regarding the prices of petroleum products."

The authority mentioned that petroleum product prices in Pakistan are primarily dependent on international market prices and the exchange rate of the Dollar.

In recent times, it said, there has been a surge in international petroleum prices, while the dollar-to-rupee exchange rate has shown improvement.

But, the authority said, it is essential to highlight that there is still one week remaining before the announcement of new prices.

"Therefore, any speculation about price increases or decreases during this period is highly speculative and could potentially disrupt the smooth functioning of the oil supply chain."