Saturday Oct 16, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The PTI-led government has announced a massive price hike in petroleum products, increasing the per litre cost of petrol by Rs10.49 and high-speed diesel by Rs12.44 for the next fortnight.
The increase in POL products was notified a day after the government hiked power tariff by Rs1.39 per unit which would come into effect from next month.
According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Finance, the price of kerosene oil has been increased by Rs10.95 per litre while light speed diesel has got costlier by Rs8.84 per litre.
“At present, oil prices have risen around $85 a barrel (Global Benchmark Brent) highest since October 2018,” reads the finance ministry notification.
It added that entire energy chain prices have witnessed a strong surge in the past couple of months due to higher demand for energy spots and supply bottlenecks.
In the current scenario, the ministry said, the government has absorbed the pressure and provided maximum relief to consumers by keeping Petroleum Levy and Sales Tax to a minimum. Therefore, prices worked out by OGRA have been approved.
The new prices of petroleum products will be effective from October 16 (today).
|Product||Existing prices w.e.f 01-10-2021||New prices w.e.f 16-10-2021||Increase/(-) Decrease|
|High-Speed Diesel (HSD)||122.04||134.48||+12.44|
Former Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani demanded the government roll back its decision to increase the prices of petroleum products.
"In September, the price of petrol was hiked by Rs9 per litre," he said. "The prices of necessary food items are at an all-time high now. The government should immediately withdraw its decision to increase the price of petrol," he added.
He said the masses will be unable to brave the hike in prices of petroleum products, adding that the "elite in the government" is pushing people towards either suicide or rebellion.
Rabbani said the government had increased the power tariff by Rs1.39 per unit in line with the IMF's demands. He said the PPP condemns the move, adding that it was taken after a subsidy of Rs77bn on electricity was withdrawn by the government.
"The government has hiked the prices of cooking oil and ghee by 40%," he said. "The prices of cooking oil and ghee have skyrocketed to Rs399 and Rs409 per kg. Prices of tomatoes, potatoes, ghee, mutton, LPG and 22 other items of necessary use have seen an increase recently."
Rabbani lamented that the US dollar had reached an all-time high over the past couple of days, adding that the IMF wanted the government to impose more taxes in exchange of its loan to Pakistan.
Reacting to the recent hike in petrol prices, PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif said that following a 14% increase in power tariff, the “petrol bomb” on the masses is a continuation of the “mini-budget”.
Lashing out at the PTI government, Shehbaz Sharif said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has no right to remain in office and demanded his resignation.
“PM Imran’s resignation could provide some relief to the nation,” Shehbaz Sharif said, adding that the “mini budgets” are the proofs of the economic failures of the incumbent government.
Speaking on the surge of petrol prices, the Ministry of Finance said it had undertaken the measure in accordance with the recommendations of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).
"The government is charging the masses only Rs2 petroleum levy," said the spokesperson of the Ministry of Finance. "The increase in the price of petrol by Rs10.49 per litre is an increase of almost 8.15%".
The spokesperson said that for the worldwide price of petrol over the past 15 days has surged by 15%. He said the price of petrol has also increased due to the depreciation of rupee.