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ISLAMABAD: Federal government on Monday decided to keep the ex-depot prices of petroleum products unchanged and adjusted the hike in global oil prices in price differential claims of oil refineries and unchanged petroleum levy rate for first half of February.

The ex-depot price of petrol currently stands at Rs147.83 per litre and high speed diesel (HSD) at Rs144.62 per litre.

In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office says that Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected a proposal to increase petroleum prices up to Rs14 per litre for February.

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had proposed an increase of Rs11 per litre in petrol price and Rs14 in HSD price.

The OGRA had worked out the recommended prices based at current rate of PL on petrol, which is Rs17.62 per litre and Pl rate on HSD is Rs17.14 per litre, Pl rate on Kerosene oil (SKO) is Rs9.86 per litre and Rs7.66 per lire Pl is charged at light diesel oil (LDO).

The general sales tax (GST) on petrol is 2.50 percent, 5.44 percent on HSD, 8.30 percent on SKO, and 2.70 percent on LDO. In a tweet, Special Assistant to PM Dr Shahbaz Gill said that the summary sent by the OGRA for the hike in POL prices had been deferred to provide relief to the public.

The move, he said, aimed at not to pass on the burden of growing inflation in the international market on the general public. Earlier, energy experts had estimated full impact of raise of oil globally would increase the ex-refinery price of petrol by 5.03 percent or Rs5.85 per litre, the price of HSD by 9.49 percent or Rs10.72 per litre, the price of Kerosene Oil (SKO) would increase by 10.09 percent or Rs10.03 per litre, and the rate of light diesel oil (LDO) by 8.65 percent or Rs9.17 per litre.

The Finance Division states that the petroleum products are showing substantial increase in the international market and presently trading at the highest level since 2014. The oil prices have witnessed an increase of 14.5 percent just in the last month in the global market.

The existing sales tax rate and petroleum levy on various petroleum products are much below the budgeted targets. The government is bearing the revenue loss of around Rs30 billion (fortnightly) on account of budgeted to existing PL and ST rates and Rs260 billion annually due to reduced ST rate.

Despite revenue losses due to rising petroleum prices globally, the prime minister of Pakistan has deferred the proposal by the OGRA to increase up to Rs16.79/Litre in the petroleum product prices and desired that petroleum product prices shall remain the same from 1st February 2022 as notified earlier on 15th January 2022 for providing maximum relief to the general public.

The prime minister has further desired to keep the prices at the same level through adjustments in sales tax, if required.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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