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June 28, 2020

Hike in POL prices: People be apprised of facts, says PM Imran Khan

Top Story

June 28, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government is working on a plan to install online tracking system of sale and stocks of oil marketing companies (OMCs) to check the hoarding of petroleum products, said Federal Minister for Power and Petroleum Omar Ayub Khan at a news conference here on Saturday.

He was accompanied by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar. Omar said the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) would handle this new tracking system. He said around 500 illegal licenses of retail outlets were operating in the country and the government was going to take action against them. The OMCs, he said, had already been asked to provide a list of their licenses so the retail outlets and illegal pumps would be closed. He said these pumps were being used to hoard the products. The minister also said that the sale of petrol had increased by 92 percent during the first 10 days of June despite lockdown and low vehicular movement.

Ayub said it was the PML-N government, which used to protect the 'oil mafia'. He said it was the then PML-N government, which allowed 31% increase in the prices of petroleum products in just month. He said the prices of oil on the international market raised by 112 percent whereas the government only allowed just 34 percent increase. The minister said there had been a sharp increase in the prices of oil in the international market, while the Pakistani rupee also devalued by Rs2 to 3 to a dollar. As such, he said the calculated increase in the price of petrol was Rs31.58 but it was increased by Rs25.58 per liter. Similarly, he said the calculated increase in the price of diesel was Rs24.31 but it was increased by Rs21.31 per liter. He insisted that the prices of petroleum products were lowest in the region.

He said on the PM’s direction, the duration for revising petrol prices had now been set at 35 days adding that the government was locked in a struggle with the mafias and hoarders. He reiterated that Pakistan had the lowest prices of petrol and diesel in Asia. Compared to that, PML-N, during the period of June, July and August, increased prices by 31% even though fuel prices had not increased on the international market.

SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar said before February 28, the price of petrol was Rs116.60. In May, the PSO bought petrol at $21 a barrel, but in June that rose to $44/barrel. He said the current price of petrol in India was Rs180 per liter, Rs137 in China, Rs174 in Bangladesh, Rs108 in Indonesia and Rs196 in Japan.

INP adds: The press conference was held after Prime Minister Imran Khan directed them to apprise the nation of facts and reasons behind increase in the petroleum products’ prices.