Govt likely to maintain status quo on petrol, diesel prices despite decline in global rates

Oil industry sources do not expect major reduction in prices as govt is likely to adjust exchange rate losses

By
Tanveer Malik
A fuel station worker refills a cars petrol tank. — AFP/File
A fuel station worker refills a car's petrol tank. — AFP/File

  • Petrol, diesel prices recorded significant decline in global market. 
  • Average price of diesel fell to around $100 per barrel globally.
  • Price of petrol dropped to $90 per barrel for next review.


KARACHI: Despite a major reduction in the international prices of diesel and petrol, the government has decided not to decrease the prices for local consumers to adjust the previous exchange losses as well as to raise taxation on the fuels, The News reported citing sources. 

The petrol and diesel prices in the global market have recorded a significant decline and average fortnight prices of both products would be taken for the next price revision on February 28, 2023.

According to the oil industry sources, the average price of diesel for the next fortnightly review dropped by $7 per barrel, which in terms of the Pakistani rupee comes to a Rs30 per litre reduction for the domestic price of diesel. The average price of diesel in the global market fell to around $100 per barrel compared to $107 per barrel in the previous fortnight.

The average price of petrol dropped to $90 per barrel for the next review of prices compared to $93 per barrel in the last fortnightly review of prices, translating into a Rs10 per litre reduction for the consumers in the local market.

Sources pointed out that rupee appreciation against the dollar in the last two weeks also helped cut the import price of diesel and petrol, as the average exchange rate dropped by Rs8 for the next review of prices.

Oil industry sources were however not hopeful about any major reduction in the prices of diesel and petrol for domestic consumers as the government was expected to adjust the exchange losses, which it did not pass on fully to the oil sector in the last many reviews.

For instance, an exchange loss adjustment of Rs88 per litre was due on diesel, but the government only transferred Rs12 per litre on this head, while the remaining was still to be adjusted. 

“It is likely that the government would pass on partially the adjustment because of getting space on the exchange rate side,” sources said.

Likewise, an exchange loss adjustment of Rs34 per litre was due on petrol, but the government only gave Rs12 per litre to the oil industry.

Sources said that under the conditions put down by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government might increase the petroleum levy (PL) on diesel to Rs50 per litre as it has now got room to do it. Currently, it is Rs40 per litre on diesel.

Sources expect a Rs10 per litre cut in diesel if the government does not impose GST, which otherwise would deprive the local consumers of the drop in diesel prices in the global market.

Official industry sources do not expect any reduction in the price of petrol for the local consumers, which otherwise would have been down by Rs10 as per the trends of its price in the global market.