ISLAMABAD - In the absence of appropriate measures to counter the fast increasing prices of POL products, Pakistanis should get ready to bear further increase in the prices of fuel in the coming month of September due to the upward revision in the margins of the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) ranging from 30-35 per cent, it was learnt reliably here on Friday. The already hard pressed masses will witness further raise while celebrating upcoming Eidul Fitr as it has almost been planned to jack up the oil prices on one pretext or the other, background interviews and discussions with Petroleum Ministry officials left this impression. 'The Ministry is gearing up its efforts to benefit the OMCs from the pockets of the masses already over-burdened with the sorry state of economic affairs and soaring energy crisis, the sources said. They said that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet would take it up in its upcoming meeting in line with the market expectations. This further increase would be charged directly from the end consumers, the sources maintained. Economic pundits are of the view that the governments move to increase the dealers commission and the rate of margins of OMCs on petroleum products by Re 0.41 to Re 0.70 per litre is likely to push the prices of petroleum products up further as the increase would be charged directly from the end consumers. The sources informed this scribe that the Ministry has forwarded a summary to the ECC for revising upward the margins of OMCs and the rate of dealers commission on high-speed diesel (HSD) which would go up by Re 0.70 per litre and on motor sprit (petrol) by Re 0.50 per litre. However, the authorities concerned have decided to increase the rate of margin of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) on petrol by Re 0.48 per litre and on high-speed diesel by Re 0.41 per litre. It is a testimony to the fact that reportedly OMCs in a sheer violation of the prescribed rules and regulations are paying little heed to the need for mandatory storage of fuel for emergencies. Instead of abiding by the licence rules, the marketing companies are showing laxity as most of them have not developed storage facilities and other appropriate measures to cope with the fuel shortages. Furthermore, the OMCs have strengthened the existing cartels and creating newer ones to thwart any government attempt to force them into compliance. In the face of inaction and stubbornness of OMCs, it has so far added fuel to the fire while its an undeniable fact that non-maintenance of prescribed 14 to 20 days build-up fuel stocks by many OMCs had played the main role in worsening the petroleum situation in the country. It is worth mentioning here that the existing volume of the oil marketing companies margin stands at Rs 1.50 on one litre petrol, Rs 1.35 on HSD per litre, Rs 1.75 on HOBC (High Octane Blending Content) per litre and Rs 1.58 on kerosene per litre. Similarly, the rate of dealers commission currently stands at Rs 1.87 on petrol per litre, Rs 1.50 on high-speed diesel and Rs 2.15 on HOBC and zero commission on kerosene.