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Sunday May 22, 2022

Petrol price in Pakistan: Govt decides against raising rates

Current government's decision to keep prices unchanged will force it to give another hefty amount in subsidy from April 16 to 30

April 15, 2022
— AFP/File
— AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday rejected the proposal to hike the price of petroleum products for the period April 16-30, PML-N Economy's Twitter handle said Friday, a move made to provide relief to the masses.

The current government's decision to keep the prices unchanged will force it to give another hefty amount in subsidy from April 16 to 30.

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.

But the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) — a day earlier — had sent a proposal to the Finance Division to increase the price of petrol by Rs21.50 and diesel by Rs51.30 (based on existing/current petroleum levy and GST).

According to the proposal, the OGRA has suggested an increase of Rs83.50 per litre of petrol and Rs119.88 per litre of diesel (based on the federal government’s advised petroleum levy of Rs30 and 17% GST).

Following will be the new rates:

ProductNew Prices w.e.f. 16-04-2022 
Increase / (-) Decrease 
MS (Petrol) 
149.860
High Speed Diesel (HSD) 
144.150
Kerosene (SKO) 
125.560
Light Diesel Oil 
118.310

Govt slams PTI for keeping rates fixed

In a press conference alongside ex-finance minister Miftah Ismail, PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi claimed that no country in the world was selling petrol cheaper than its original cost.

PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (right) addressing a press conference alongside ex-finance minister Miftah Ismail in Islamabad, on April 15, 2022. — YouTube/PTVNews
PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (right) addressing a press conference alongside ex-finance minister Miftah Ismail in Islamabad, on April 15, 2022. — YouTube/PTVNews

Abbasi said the incumbent government was facing problems due to the former government's mismanagement as they had set the price of petrol at Rs149, which burdened the national exchequer.

Due to the PTI government's policy of keeping the petroleum products' rates fixed, the remaining Rs35 billion was paid through the national exchequer.

"If the rates are kept the same till June, then the government will have to pay Rs240 billion through its own resources [...] the rates were fixed by PTI to garner cheap publicity," he said, while lashing out at the Imran Khan-led government's to keep the rates fixed till the next budget.

Had PM Shehbaz accepted OGRA's summary, then the rate of petrol would be at Rs265 and diesel Rs235, Abbasi said and noted that the previous government had fixed the rates despite promising the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that they would hike them.