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ISLAMABAD: The interim government on Sunday kept the ex-depot prices of petrol and high speed diesel (HSD) unchanged for first half of January 2024 following a marginal increase in the prices of Brent globally and stable exchange rate.

According to the Finance Division statement, the prices of petrol and HSD are kept unchanged with effect from January 1, 2024. However, the price of kerosene oil (SKO) has decreased by Rs 2.19 per litre, whereas, the rate of light speed diesel (LDO) was increased by Rs 1.19 per litre.

The price of LDO has risen to Rs 165.83 per litre from Rs 164.64 per litre in last fortnight. The price of SKO has decreased from Rs 191.02 to Rs 188.83 per litre.

Sources said the government has made slight changes in IFEM and dealers’ margin and ex-refinery prices of petroleum products. The new prices were recommended by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). The government has allowed zero adjustment in exchange rate and no change in petroleum levy (PL) rates and general sale tax (GST) rates. The government is charging Rs60 per litre PL on petrol and HSD and zero rates on GST.

Brent oil prices internationally remained between $77.95 and $ 81.07 per barrel since December 16, 2023. In the last review, the government applied an exchange rate of Rs284.28 against the US dollar.

Sources said that the decision to keep the prices of petrol and HSD unchanged would help to boost the consumption of petroleum products and boost economic activities.

The data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) shows refined product imports dropped by 29 percent to $499 million in November 2023 compared to $708 million the previous year. Meanwhile, crude oil imports were increased by four percent to $566 million from $546 million in the same month last year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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