ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif faces a tough call on petrol prices whether to continue subsidising the petroleum products or increase the rate, risking a backlash from the masses already burdened due to high inflation.
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has proposed a massive hike in the prices of petroleum products which, if approved, will set a new record in the country.
In the second fortnight of the current month starting April 16, the PML-N government would be required to either jack up the price of petroleum products or enhance subsidies to maintain the existing price.
On February 28, former prime minister Imran Khan announced a reduction of Rs10 per litre in petrol and diesel prices and a price freeze till the announcement of the budget for 2022-23.
According to sources, if the coalition government chooses to increase the price, the per-litre petrol cost will jump by Rs83.50 — if they decide to increase the levy and GST.
They said that the proposal of an increase of Rs83.50 per litre petrol and Rs119 per litre diesel has been submitted by Ogra which includes a Rs30 levy and 17% GST.
However, with the existing tax and levy, the authorities have proposed the Finance Division increase the petrol price by Rs21.52 per litre and Rs51.30 per litre diesel.
For kerosene oil Rs35.5 per litre and Rs38.89 per litre light-diesel increases have been proposed on the current tax rate. While with higher levy and GST a hike of Rs77.56 per litre of kerosene oil and Rs77.31 per litre of light diesel has been proposed.
It is worth mentioning that currently, the petrol price in Pakistan is Rs149.86 while diesel is available at Rs144.15, with zero per cent levy and GST. Sources mentioned that working has been done without including 17% GST and Rs30 levy.
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Safe-haven bullion had lost Rs1,100 per tola cumulatively last week