Sunday, January 29, 2023
Our Correspondent

OGRA says reports about hike in price of petroleum products 'misleading'

Avoid disseminating speculative prices of petroleum products in the public interest, says OGRA

Our Correspondent

A closeup of a fuel gun. — AFP/File
A closeup of a fuel gun. — AFP/File

  • OGRA advises against spreading misinformation in public interest. 
  • Rs83 per litre increase speculations triggered rush at petrol stations.
  • Govt likely to increase petrol price by Rs20-21 to appease IMF. 

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) Saturday said the speculative petrol and diesel price hike, reported in media channels, is "misleading", reported The News.

In a brief statement, OGRA spokesperson Imran Ghaznavi said: “It has been observed that speculative prices of petrol and diesel are being reported in the print and electronic media since last evening (Saturday),” adding that the reports are “misleading and incorrect”.

People started rushing to petrol stations amid speculations about the government expected to increase petrol prices by nearly Rs83 per litre. The regulatory authority advised, “the elements, spreading misleading and incorrect information, to avoid disseminating speculative prices of petroleum products in the public interest.”

However, in line with the government's aim to convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Ministry of Finance is expected to increase the price of petrol prices by Rs20-21 and diesel by Rs25 in the upcoming fortnightly review.

It should be noted that the massive depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar in the last two days would not reflect greatly in the review due on January 31 (Tuesday) as the average exchange rate would clock in at Rs240, information gathered from the country's oil sector showed.

However, it was learnt that the fortnightly review due on February 15 would reflect a significant increase in domestic petroleum prices on account of rupee depreciation.

“The sharp appreciation of the dollar against the rupee in the last two sessions would reflect in the revision of petroleum prices on February 15, when the dollar rate calculation would start from Rs260,” well-informed people in the oil industry said.

No fuel shortage

Earlier on Tuesday, the regulator strongly rebutted speculations over the shortage of POL products, especially petrol and diesel in Pakistan, and said that sufficient stocks were available.

A statement by the OGRA spokesperson read that the country had sufficient petrol and diesel stocks for meeting the needs of 18 and 37 days respectively.

It added: “Furthermore, ships carrying 101,000MT [Metric Ton] petrol is at berth/outer anchorage.”

The statement was issued after a countrywide power breakdown that triggered speculations that the country was running out of fuel to run its power plants.