ISLAMABAD - The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has upward revised the fares for oil transportation and allowed up to 64 percent increase in freight rates for oil tankers.

In a letter written to Oil Company Advisory Council (OCAC) on November 10, the Ogra said that effective from November 1, Ogra has revised the freight rate for the oil tankers. It was further informed that Ogra has agreed to allow an increase of 19.7 percent to 63.93 percent in fares of different slabs of oil transportation .

Although an agreement in this regard was reached here on October 25, at a meeting between the officials of the Ministry of Petroleum, Ogra and All Pakistan Oil Tanker Owners Association (APOTA) and Oil Tankers Contractor Association (OTCA). However, the Ogra didn’t inform the OCAC about the decision. Disappointed by the delay in announcement, APOTA and OTCA have given a fresh call for strike on November 13. However, after the formal letter now the strike has been called off.

The increase will be applicable from November 1 and will stay in effect for next two years. Under the decision the freight for cities was increased by 63.9 percent while for long distance it would be 19.7 percent.

According to the notification, five different slabs were revised. Earlier, the slab-I was 0-64 KM which is revised to 0-137km, while slab-II was 65-1979 which is now revised to 138-560km, slab-III was 65-1979 which was revised to 561-1979km, slab-IV will stay the same as 1980 and above, slab-V hilly areas. It was decided to increase the rates for first slab by 63.9 percent, slab-II 19.6 percent and for the rest by 19.7 percent.

For slab-I the rates are increased by Rs140.64 per 1000 litre (KL) from the earlier Rs219.98 per KL to Rs360.62 per KL. Usually the oil tanker in cities carries up to 10,000 litre of oil and earlier it was charging Rs2,200 per trip which will be now increased to Rs3,600, an official explained.

For slab-II, increase of Rs0.7495 per 1,000 litre per Kilometer (KM) was allowed which increased per KL/KM to Rs2.6432 from the earlier 1.8937 per litre. These prices will be added to the oil tankers going beyond 137 KM. For slab-III, Rs0.373 per KL/KM was allowed which will increase the rate to Rs2.2667 per KL/KM from the earlier Rs1.8937 per KL/KM. For Slab-IV, the rates were enhanced by Rs0.3619 per KL/KM from the earlier Rs1.8374 per KL/KM to Rs2.1993 per KL/KM. For Slab-V, Hilly/Kutcha areas, the rates were increased Rs0.667 per KL/KM from the earlier Rs3.3860 per KL/KM to Rs4.0530 per KL/KM.

It is pertinent to mention here that the freight charges were fixed in 2011 and there had been no increase for the past six years. However, an official told the scribe that the freight rate for the Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK would remain the same and would be negotiated later.