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ISLAMABAD: Federal government on Sunday has kept the petroleum products’ prices unchanged for first half of March (March 1-15) to avoid public and political criticism.

Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected the summary of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) for increasing petroleum prices.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill in a tweet on Sunday informed that the prime minister did not approve the proposed increase in the prices of the petroleum products.

He announced that there was no increase in the prices despite the continuous surge in the prices in the global oil market.

The regulator revised its mechanism for fixing of prices of petroleum products while recommended the increase to federal government in fortnight review. The regulator worked out prices of petroleum products based on notified petroleum levy (PL) at current fortnight instead of Rs 30 per litre and standard rates of general sale tax (GST) at 17 percent from March 1, 2021.

The regulator had proposed Rs 6.22 per litre increase in the price of petrol. An increase in the price of high speed diesel (HSD) had recommended Rs 6.82 per litre. The price of kerosene oil (SKO) had recommended to raise by Rs 6.37 per litre and an increase in light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs 5.78 per litre.

The prices of crude oil globally have gone up by $3.63 per barrel from $63.25 per barrel on February 16 to $66.88 per barrel on February 26, 2021.

At present, the PL on per litre petrol is Rs17.97 and Rs18.36 levy on per litre HSD. These petroleum products are the major source of revenue collection of federal government.

The prices are maintained at February level as government adjusted PL and ex-refinery prices of petroleum products.

The government has already achieved 60 percent of budgeted Rs450 billion in the current financial year from the PL by keeping the rate at the highest level.

Federal government has adjusted the hike in oil prices in PL by slashing the rate by Rs 5.32 per litre from Rs 17.97 to Rs 12.65 per litre for petrol. The rate of sale tax remains the same Rs 16.26 per litre. The ex-refinery rate/ cost of supply of PSO has increased by Rs 5.28 per litre from Rs 67.34 to Rs 72.62 per litre on petrol.

The rate of PL on HSD also reduced to Rs 12.53 per litre. The PL rate for HOBC has been kept at Rs 30 per litre. Whereas, PL rate on kerosene oil and LDO have been kept zero.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021