Pakistan hikes petrol and diesel prices by Rs 19

Pakistani flag

The Pakistan Government on Tuesday announced a hike in the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 19 on Tuesday, according to the Dawn newspaper.

Dawn is a Pakistani English-language newspaper that was launched in British India in 1941. It is the largest English newspaper in Pakistan and also serves as the country’s newspaper of record.

The Pakistan Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, informed about the development that led to the prices of petrol and diesel at Rs 272.95 and Rs 273.40 per litre, respectively.

The statements of Ishaq Dar reported by the Dawn newspaper said that the government had checked the “working” of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) until the late hours of the night.

“The delay in the announcement, the basic reason, was that we were looking at if there were ways to reduce it if there was some leeway,” Dar said.

The minister also informed the organisation that the matter was discussed with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif earlier on Tuesday.

“We all know that the international commitments we have with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding the petroleum levy, if they weren’t there […] then we would’ve announced a smaller increase but everyone knows we have a standby agreement,” he said as he highlighted how the previous PTI government had reneged on its promises with the money lender, reported Dawn.

The publication states that the minister then added, “So in the country’s interest, it is necessary that the minimum increase calculated to be passed and HSD is being increased by Rs19.90 and the new price will be Rs273.40. And petrol price is being increased by Rs19.95 to Rs272.95.”

Dar added that the new prices would be effective immediately. He went on to say that the government was determined to provide relief to the people as he pointed out how diesel prices were slashed by Rs 30.

“But international prices are not in the government’s control. And as I said, we did the working down to the last penny,” he said. Dar said that the prices were increased based on the final recommendation given by Ogra and with the premier’s approval, claimed a report by Dawn.

The publication reports that the government could not announce the fortnightly adjustment in the prices of petroleum products on Monday, with consultations continuing into the early hours of Tuesday.

However, a 17.5 pc increase was announced in the producer price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), as well as a 13.5 pc raise in the LPG consumer sale price for August.

As per Dawn, the LPG price was increased by Rs 281.5 per domestic cylinder of 11.8kg. The new producer price is Rs 1,886.30 per 11.8 kg cylinder, while the consumer price is Rs 2,373.64 per cylinder.

The publication also reports that a top official said the government was finding it difficult to announce a major price increase just before it leaves office. Dar remained engaged for hours with the Ogra chairman, his team, and petroleum division officials, to find ways to avoid jacking up prices, or at least a way to minimise the increase.

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