- Finance minister says public has stood with the government during difficult times and bore the burden of inflation and now we want to provide relief
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said on Thursday that the government will slash domestic petrol prices before midnight and that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has received a summary from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) recommending the cut.
Speaking to media, he stressed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had no objections with the government’s move - the announcement comes on the same day as the IMF said it had reached a staff-level agreement with Pakistan for conclusion of the combined seventh and eighth reviews of the Extended Fund Facility, with the agreement now subject to approval of the Executive Board.
He also said that the government would not wait for 15 July, and cut oil prices today (14 July).
“PM Shehbaz wants to announce immediate relief to the people of Pakistan,” he said. “The public stood with the government during difficult times and bore the burden of inflation and now we want to provide relief.”
In its summary, Ogra recommended a Rs18-per-litre cut in the price of petrol and over Rs20 per litre reduction in diesel prices.
The decision to cut the prices of petroleum product comes as international oil price have dropped significantly over the past few days.
Oil prices fell on Thursday as investors focused on the prospect of a large US rate hike that could stem inflation but at the same time hit oil demand.
Brent crude futures for September were down $1.86 cents to $97.71 a barrel at 1016 GMT after settling below $100 for a second straight session on Wednesday.
US West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery was at $94.01 a barrel, down $2.29 cents.
On June 30, the government announced a hike in the prices of petroleum products for a fourth time since end-May and lifted the new ex-depot price of petrol to Rs248.74 per litre (after a hike of Rs14.85), and diesel to Rs276.54 (after a hike of Rs13.23).
The revised rates went into effect from 1 July. In the pricing structure, a petroleum levy of Rs10 was imposed on petrol and a levy of Rs5 had been added to the per-litre prices of high speed diesel, kerosene, and light diesel oil.