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December 7, 2019

Govt admits to pocketing: Rs45 per litre on diesel, Rs35 per litre on petrol

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December 7, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday admitted in the National Assembly that it was charging Rs45 per litre on diesel and Rs35 per litre on petrol in taxes.

The National Assembly was informed that the oil prices in Pakistan were not being increased consistently rather these were revised upward or downward 17 times from September 2018 to December 2019.

In a written reply to a question posed by MNA Chaudhry Barjees Tahir, Minister for Petroleum Omar Ayub told the lower house that there had not been a substantial decrease in the oil prices in the global, Arab and Gulf markets.

In fact, oil prices had been fluctuating upward and downward in the global market. During the 17 times revision, the prices of various petroleum products were increased only on 6-7 occasionswhile prices were decreased and maintained on 10-11 occasions, he explained.

“It is not a fact that people are deliberately deprived of the fruits of decrease,” he said. “The benefit of the decrease in oil prices was passed on to the public on several occasions," the minister said.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties’ protest against non-production of detained parliamentarians blocked the National Assembly proceedings on Friday. The opposition members staged a walkout from the House when Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri did not give floor to the PML-N member Chaudhry Birjees Tahir, who wanted to raise the issue of four members who were not produced in the House despite issuance of production orders by the speaker.

Sardar Akhtar Mengal and other parliamentarians of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) also accompanied the opposition members in walkout. Meanwhile, one of PML-N members pointed out the lack of quorum. After counting, the chair suspended proceedings for a few minutes. However, the government benches could not manage the quorum and also could not convince the opposition members to return to the House.

Consequently, the Deputy Speaker adjourned the proceedings till Monday afternoon. The opposition parties are under protest against non-production of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Asif Ali Zardari, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Syed Khursheed Shah whose production orders had already been issued by the speaker.