ISLAMABAD- Taking a plea of upward trend of oil prices in the international market, the outgoing PPP government has made a whopping raise in the prices of petroleum products (POL) under the monthly oil price review mechanism. Moreover, the additional burden of Parco’s dues has now also been passed on to the consumers.

Under the notified prices of petroleum products, the government has increased the prices of petroleum products (POL) up to Rs4.35/litre hike under monthly price review mechanism, which would be effective for a month period starting from March 1 across the country.

The per litre price of petrol with a hike of Rs3.53/litre has been raised from existing Rs103.07/litre to Rs106.60/litre for the month of March.

High Speed Diesel (HSD), mostly used in transport and agriculture sectors, has witnessed a historic increase of Rs4.35/litre, taking existing Rs109.21/litre price to Rs113.56. Kerosene oil price has been increased by Rs3.79/litre pushing it up to Rs103.69/litre from Rs99.90/litre.

Light Diesel Oil (LDO), used for industrial purposes, also posted an increase of Rs3.93 per litre, going up from its current rate of Rs94.33/litre to Rs98.26 per litre.

The elections now being around the corner, it was being expected that the outgoing PPP-led ruling coalition would try to decrease burden on the common man who have been bearing heavy brunt of sky-high prices of petroleum products coupled with inflated prices of essential commodities for a long time.

But this ‘farewell gift’ of the government to the masses will add to their woes as the high POL prices will also jack up the prices of other commodities and bring a new a tsunami of inflation that would sweep away the little they are left with now. The masses will surely remember the PPP government for colossal hikes in POL prices, worst kind of shortages of power, gas and other fuels, high taxes and tariffs on utilities, inflated prices of essential commodities.

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) in its summary, dubbed as a working paper, sent on Wednesday had proposed this raise in the prices of petroleum products which was approved and notified by the ministry on Thursday. Following the approval of federal cabinet’s economic coordination committee (ECC), the cash starved government decided to immediately start ‘fleecing the innocent consumers on account of increased transportation charges (Inland Freight Equalisation Margin) of crude oil from Karachi to Multan of Parco (Pak Arab Refinery Ltd).

Consequently, the masses would bear the burden of these increased fuel transport costs, sources in petroleum ministry said on Thursday. They said as the babus at the petroleum ministry are out to immediately clear outstanding dues of Parco, so masses would have to bear whopping hike in the next month prices of petroleum products.

With effect to this governmental decision, the consumers of petrol would now pay an additional Rs30/litre. The increase in transportation costs for Kerosene Oil is Rs0.15/litre, for high-speed diesel (HSD) Rs0.38/litre, for light diesel oil (LDO) Rs0.47/litre and for high octane blended component (HOBC) Rs0.71/litre.