Monday, September 25, 2023

Ogra advises against speculating petrol price after ministers' reduction claim

Authority says speculation can disrupt smooth functioning of oil supply chain

People wait for their turn to get fuel at a petrol station in Peshawar, January 30, 2023. — Reuters
People wait for their turn to get fuel at a petrol station in Peshawar, January 30, 2023. — Reuters

  • Ogra emphasises against speculating about oil price reduction.
  • Speculation can "disrupt" smooth functioning of oil supply chain.
  • Federal ministers last week claimed POL prices would reduce.

ISLAMABAD: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) Monday advised against speculating on the price of petroleum products after federal ministers claimed the POL rates would likely be reduced in the next fortnightly review.

Caretaker Federal Commerce and Industries Minister Gohar Ejaz and Interim Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi said last week that POL prices would be reduced after the rupee gained ground against the dollar.

In the last 14 days, the rupee has gained around Rs16 against the greenback, prompting the claims, as Pakistan, being an importer of POL, purchases the commodity in dollars.

In the previous fortnightly review, the caretaker government had jacked up the petrol price by more than Rs26 and diesel by over Rs17 per litre to Rs331.38 and Rs329.18, respectively — the highest in history.

In response to the ministers' claims, Ogra issued a statement saying: "[the authority] would like to emphasize the importance of avoiding speculations regarding the prices of petroleum products."

The authority mentioned that petroleum product prices in Pakistan are primarily dependent on international market prices and the exchange rate of the Dollar.

In recent times, it said, there has been a surge in international petroleum prices, while the dollar-to-rupee exchange rate has shown improvement.

But, the authority said, it is essential to highlight that there is still one week remaining before the announcement of new prices.

"Therefore, any speculation about price increases or decreases during this period is highly speculative and could potentially disrupt the smooth functioning of the oil supply chain."