ISLAMABAD - The latest eyebrow-raising news for the financially ravaged people of Pakistan is that the Petroleum Ministry has finally sought the ECC approval for reviewing POL product prices fortnightly instead of 30 days despite strong opposition of OGRA and Finance Ministry.

However, financial wizards have argued that this expected decision by the ECC would cause heavy losses to industrial sector in Pakistan, adding the hoarding of POL products would also gain momentum in the country.

They said the fortnightly specification of prices would give way to the hoarding of the petroleum products, which may later on create crisis of the POL products in the country.

Again, the fortnightly setting of prices will also lead to complications involving petroleum levy and taxes.  They were of opinion that though Finance Ministry and Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had balked at specifying prices of petroleum products every fortnight and even both had voiced opposition to pegging the new prices after every 15 days.

This is impractical and irrational policy, which would bore no fruit to decrease the miseries of over burdened masses, they added. Sources privy to the development have informed that Petroleum Minister had drafted the summary seeking approval from Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) regarding review in POL prices.

They told it is likely that the ECC would endorse the recommendation sans any delay given the continuous price hike in international market resultantly the poor masses will be overburdened with raise in POL prices after every 15 days instead of 30 days.

Sources informed that Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MoP&NR) in its plea has sought complete deregulation of the prices of petroleum oil and lubricants (POL) products in a way that initially they will be determined fortnightly but with the passage of time, the determination of prices will be on daily basis.

They also told that the Ministry has also sought Economic Coordination Committee’s (ECC’s) of the Cabinet nod pertaining to the projects of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Air Mix and imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in its summaries. It is also learnt that in the beginning Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGCL) and Sui Northern Gas Company Ltd (SNGPL) will purchase 800 million cubic feet of gas with imported LNG project while gas of LPG Air Mix will be provided to special industrial zones of the country.

Additionally, signing for the sale and purchase agreement for the gas of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) project will be on April 16th in Ashgabat also known as Ashkhabad the capital and largest city of Turkmenistan, a country in Central Asia.

It is to note here that initially the Petroleum Ministry dispatched a summary on fortnight specification of prices to all concerning stakeholders which, however, on the resistance by the Finance Ministry and the OGRA, Petroleum Ministry earlier decided to review the summary. But finally, Petroleum Ministry has resolved to get ECC’s approval despite strong and serious objections by the stakeholders only to meet the lavish expenditures of the incumbent government.