Govt jacks up price of petrol day after PM warned fuel would get dearer

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ISLAMABAD: The price of petrol in Pakistan went up by Rs8.03 per litre, a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan warned the nation that fuel prices would have to undergo an increase.

According to a finance ministry notification, with the Rs8.03 increase, the new price of petrol has been fixed at Rs145.82 per litre for the next fortnight.

Similarly, the new price of high-speed diesel (HSD) — the country’s most widely consumed fuel — has reached Rs142.62 per litre after an increase of Rs8.14 per litre.

According to the notification, the new prices will be effective from November 5.

ProductExisting price w.e.f 16-10-2021New price w.e.f 5-11-2021Increase
PetrolRs137.79Rs145.82Rs8.03
DieselRs134.48Rs142.62Rs8.14
Kerosene oilRs110.26Rs116.53Rs6.27
Light diesel oilRs108.35Rs114.07Rs5.72

“On November 1, 2021, the Prime Minister had not agreed with the proposals worked out by OGRA and Finance Division and directed to maintain the prices as notified on October 16, 2021,” read the statement issued by the government.

It, however, added that maintaining the October 16, 2021 petroleum prices had some underlying concerns, for example cash flow issues due to the short recovery of the cost.

“It is important to note that in the previous petroleum prices, already a significant relief was provided to the consumers,” the ministry of finance said.

“The government is cognizant of its responsibility to provide maximum relief to the consumers. This has dented the petroleum levy budget of Rs152.5 billion during July-September 2021 as compared to Rs20 billion realised only.

“Foregoing in view, prices of petroleum prices have been increased partially as compared to the prices being worked out by OGRA.”

The statement added that if the government had accepted OGRA’s recommendation, the new prices would have been much higher.

PM’s warning

The finance ministry’s announcement comes a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his address to the nation, cautioned that fuel prices would undergo an increase in the coming days.

Speaking about the ongoing inflation in the country, PM Imran Khan had told media outlets that while it is their right to criticise the government, they should opt for a balanced approach when reporting on inflation.

“What can we do if inflation is being driven because of global factors?” the premier questioned as he cited the examples of oil and gas prices worldwide.

“Yes, we are facing inflation in the country but you should also look at what the government is doing to alleviate the situation,” he said, adding that due to factors which are not in the hands of the government, petrol prices will have to be increased further.

“If we do not increase the price of petrol, the deficit will increase,” the PM said, adding that global oil prices have risen by 100%, while the price of petrol in India is Rs250 per litre.

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