- Two interim ministers had recently hinted cut in rates after rupee's appreciation against dollar
After some ministers in the interim government hinted at a relief in petroleum prices, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) advised on Monday to avoid “speculation”, saying any decision of new prices was yet to be taken.
At least two caretaker ministers recently said the POL prices could be decreased, in line with rupee’s recovery against the dollar.
However, the regulator dispelled the talks, saying there is still one week remaining before the announcement of new POL prices. The prices are reviewed fortnightly.
“Petroleum product prices in our country are primarily dependent on international market prices and the exchange rate of the dollar,” OGRA said in a press statement on Monday.
“In recent times, we have witnessed a surge in international petroleum prices, while the dollar-to-rupee exchange rate has shown improvement.
“It is essential to highlight that there is still one week remaining before the announcement of new prices. Therefore, any speculation about price increases or decreases during this period is highly speculative and could potentially disrupt the smooth functioning of the oil supply chain.”
In the last review on September 15, the caretaker government announced another massive hike in petrol and diesel prices, which took their rates to Rs331.38 and Rs329.18 per litre, respectively. The price of petrol was increased by Rs26.02 per litre, and high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs17.34 per litre.
This was the fourth successive increase in prices of petroleum products.
The next review is expected on September 30.
It may be noted that the rupee has witnessed significant improvement against the dollar since the interim government initiated a crackdown against smugglers and hoarders.
On Monday, the rupee maintained its upward trajectory for the 14th successive session against the US dollar, gaining another 0.31% in the inter-bank market. As per the State Bank of Pakistan, it settled at 290.86 after an increase of Re0.9.
Internationally, oil prices held steady on Monday after Russia relaxed its fuel ban, taking the edge off earlier gains on a tighter supply outlook and wariness over interest rates that could curb demand.
Brent crude futures were up 17 cents, or 0.18%, at $93.44 a barrel by 1133 GMT after settling 3 cents lower on Friday.