ISLAMABAD - The government yet again has denied the due relief to masses as it announced yesterday a meager decrease of Rs 3 (3.54-5.30 percent) in the prices of all the POL products against the reduction of 8 to 12 percent recommended by Ogra.

At the same time, the government also announced a hike in the prices for various gas consumers.

“We have recommended the government to make no change in petroleum product prices for September to cover the Rs90 billion deficits, however, the government has made a decrease of Rs 3,” said the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, as he announced the ‘sweet and sour’ decision about the Oil and Gas prices in a press conference here yesterday. The new prices will be effective from today (Tuesday).

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority last week recommended to the government an 8 to 12 percent decrease in the prices of different POL products for September. However to cover its revenue deficit the government did not pass on the benefit to the consumers despite a sharp steep of international oil prices.

The government has increased General Sales Tax on POL products, to cover its revenue deficit, and against the standard 17 percent GST the government is collecting much higher rate of the tax on petroleum products. According the new GST rate, the government is collecting 45 percent GST on High Speed Diesel (HSD), 25.5 percent on Motor Spirit (Petrol), 30 percent on Kerosene Oil, 29.9 percent on Light Diesel Oil (LDO) and 24 percent on High Octane Blending Components (HOBC).

The minister said the government has approved the reduction of Rs 3 in all the five petroleum products. After reduction the new price of petrol will come down to 73.76 from the existing 76.76.The new price of High Speed Diesel (HSD) will be Rs82.05 per litre. The current price of HSD is Rs85. 05 per litre.

The price of Kerosene oil will come down to Rs57.11 per litre from the existing Rs60.11 per litre. The price of HOBC, after Rs 3 decrease, will come to Rs79.79 per litre from the existing Rs82.79. The price of Light Diesel Oil (LDO) will come down to Rs 53.59 per litre, from Rs56.59 per litre.

GAS ATTACK

The minister said the government has tried its best to safeguard the domestic consumers from the hike in the gas prices but to leave the prices unchanged was not possible anymore. However, he said that despite the price hike, the government is still providing RS75 billion subsidy to the domestic consumers.

The prices for the domestic consumers using upto 100 Cubic metre per month have been increased by 3.72 percent or Rs 4 per MMBTU. From 100 to 300 cubic metre per month usage, the prices have been increased by 3.77 percent or Rs 8 per MMBTU while for the consumer who consumers more than 300 cubic metre per month the prices have been increased by 13 percent or Rs169 per MMBTU.

Similarly for the cement industry the prices are increased by 0.94 percent or Rs 7 MMBTU; for CNG by 16.66 percent or Rs 100 per MMBTU; for commercial 9.9 percent or Rs 63 per MMBTU; for General Industry 22.95 percent or Rs 112 per MMBTU; for Captive power 4.71 percent or Rs 27 per MMBTU; for power sector 22.95 percent or Rs 122 per MMBTU; for Fertilizer-Feedstock(new) 5.88 percent or Rs 4 per MMBTU, for Fertilizer-Feedstock(Old) 62.60 percent or Rs 73 per MMBTU, for fertilizer-fuel 22.6 percent or Rs 122 per MMBTU.

Replying a query regarding the LNG import the minister said that the government is likely to finalise an agreement by the end of September. For the LPG, he said the Ministry of Petroleum has moved a summary to the government for regularisation of the LPG sector, as the prices was too much fluctuating throughout the season. If the government approves the summary the prices of LPG cylinder will stay at of Rs 900 throughout the year, the minister claimed.