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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail Thursday said that increase in petroleum development levy by Rs10 on petrol and Rs4 on diesel was compulsion for revival of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme. Addressing a news conference along with Musadik Malik, the finance minister said that after Rs10 per litre increase in PDL and Rs 4.85 increase in its price, new price of petrol would be Rs 248.75 after midnight.

He said that diesel whose price was Rs 263 would be Rs 276.54 per litre following an increase of Rs 8.23 in price and Rs 5 in tax.

Similarly, he said that the new price of kerosene oil whose price was Rs 211, would be Rs 230 after Rs 18 increase in price and Rs 5 PDL per liter while light diesel, whose price was Rs 207, would be Rs 226.15 per liter after 12am subsequent to increase of Rs 13.68 in price and Rs 5 tax.

Ismail said that these prices would be effective from 12am night to make up Rs 230 billion loss incurred during the fiscal year closed on June 30 2022.

The increase in these prices was inevitable because the country’s budget deficit historic high of Rs 5 trillion.

He said that the government tried to provide relief as much as possible but as the prices have increased considerably, there was no other option to increase the prices.

Amendment to Petroleum Products (Petroleum Levy) Ordinance approved

These taxes were compulsion because the government revived the same EFF programme of the IMF which was violated by the previous government and its time duration as well as fund have also been increased. The programme would now be for four years with an increase of $2 billion in amount as opposed to original amount.

Musaddiq Malik said that the previous government of Imran Khan has passed an amendment to the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) Ordinance to allow the regulator to pass on determined gas prices on general masses in 40 days.

He said the division has asked recommendations from oil refineries on option to import oil from Russia. He maintained that PTI chairman Imran Khan was not pressing earlier statement that PTI was in negotiations with Russia on import of cheaper oil as Russian ambassador had already clarified.

He further said the government would soon start importing coal from Afghanistan and issuance of Pakistani visas at border would be issued to trucks for power generation.

He said the government was in discussion with various foreign countries for long-term LNG contract as spot purchase of very expensive and government had to scrap one of LNG bid received for July window.

He said under the directive of the Prime Minister, the government had already disbursed Rs 2,000 as targeted fuel subsidy and more deserving fall under BISP would also be added to this.

He said the country was on the verge of bankruptcy and they had to take these unpopular steps. He expressed the hope that the economic situation would be better in 6 months.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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