ISLAMABAD: The government will finance the fuel subsidy (discounted fuel) by charging Rs100 per litre more from the affluent, said Minister of State for Energy (Petroleum Division) Musadik Masood Malik Wednesday.
In a media briefing on a strategy for Prime Minister’s Petroleum Relief Program for the low-income population, the state minister said the government will make petrol expensive for the rich and cheaper for the poor. The higher prices paid by the rich will be used to provide petroleum subsidy to low-income people, therefore, the IMF should not have any objection, he maintained.
Around 51 percent of the population would be beneficiaries of the discounting fuel pricing program who consume 60 percent of total fuel consumption in the country. The program will target roughly 20 million motorcycles and rickshaws (with capping of 21 liters of petrol) and 1.36 million small vehicles (capping of 30 litres of fuel), he said.
He further said that the strategy of Rs100 per litre discounting petrol pricing for motorcycles, rickshaws and up to 800 cc cars will be finalised in six-week and submit to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for approval.
State Minister for Energy (Petroleum Division) Musadik Malik said the proposed two-tier pricing strategy would aim at taxing Rs100 per litre tax to luxury car owners. The government intends to fund this subsidy by charging an additional fee of Rs100 for every liter of petrol bought by wealthy car owners.
This is purely a Petroleum Division initiative and other line ministries and divisions were not involved due to a limited time frame to finalise recommendations on the PM fuel relief package. “We have foreseen no court cases in two-tier tariff by rich,” he added.
He further said that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) would review fuel pricing fortnightly and additional fuel price charged from rich would be deposited by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in a dedicated escrow accounts in National Bank. The collection would be audited.
He further said that the beneficiaries’ data would be collected from provincial vehicles registration authorities. Then a message (OPT) would be sent to their phone numbers and 12,000 outlets of OMCs would be facilitated through scanners. Each motorcyclist would be eligible to get two to three litres petrol each day and 5 litres to car owner each day.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023