ISLAMABAD - AHMAD AHMADANI - Petroleum Ministry and Ogra are at loggerheads over price determination of petroleum products as the ministry has refused to set monthly mechanism while the regulator has recommended the ECC to impose monthly price determination mechanism in the country.  Well-placed sources aware of the development informed TheNation that though the Cabinet Division had sent back the summary pertaining determination of petroleum products two days before to the ministry of petroleum & natural resources (MPNR) with serious objections yet the ‘mighty’ MP&NR while refusing to set monthly mechanism of oil pricing has now once again supported controversial weekly oil pricing mechanism and dispatched the summary once again to the Cabinet Division seeking the ECC approval.

Sources further said that the MP&NR while paying no heed to the objections earlier raised by Cabinet Division on its summary has now ostensibly adopted that the economic coordination committee (ECC) of the cabinet itself should decide when to determine the prices of petroleum products despite the fact that the MP&NR is bound to propose the prices of the products. They further said the MP&NR is currently desperately striving hard to ensure imposition of weekly or fortnightly determination of oil pricing in future across the country. But the unanimous resolution of Lower House (National Assembly) coupled with the recommendations and resolutions of National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum & Natural Resources, entrusted with credible task of monitoring the entire affairs of the MPNR are found the stumbling blocks in this regards, so the MPNR has left the matter on ECC’s disposal. Now the MPNR has thrown the ball in the court of the ECC, sources added.

On the other hand, the Ogra has now recommended monthly oil pricing mechanism in the country through a letter written to the ECC and strongly opposed the weekly oil pricing mechanism. The regulator in its letter written to the ECC has categorically opposed the weekly oil pricing mechanism and aware the highest economic forum of the country about its effects.Sources further confided that the summary pertaining price determination of petroleum products is likely to be tabled in the upcoming ECC meeting, which would be possibly held next week.It is pertinent to mention here that two days earlier the Cabinet Division while raising serious objections on a summary of price determination of petroleum products has sent it back to the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources (MPNR), which was originally dispatched for the ECC approval.

The Cabinet Division raised objections on the summary that the Ministry did not give proposals regarding determination of the prices and even not submitted the duration after which the prices would be decided.   The Cabinet Division in its objections also said that the MPNR should clearly suggest after how much time the prices of petroleum products should be determined because in accordance to the roles of business the MPNR is bound to suggest the prices of petroleum products. Furthermore, the ‘mighty’ MPNR in its summary supported the much ‘controversial’ weekly price determination mechanism despite the fact that the public are making litany of complaints but to no avail.