ISLAMABAD  - Good news for inflation-hit masses is that the government has decided to introduce a mechanism of reviewing the prices of petroleum products (POL) on each quarter basis and the upcoming economic coordination committee (ECC) may approve it.

Sources in ruling power corridor aware of the development told The Nation that federal government is set to implement a new mechanism of reviewing POL prices on quarterly basis and next meeting of ECC to be held in next week would take a final decision in this regard. And, ministry of petroleum and natural resources would take a lead in providing a sigh of relief to already burdened POL consumers.

Bringing stability in the POL prices was the part of a laid down policy of ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). Even, when the PML-N was on opposition benches during outgoing PPP regime then it floated a proposal to bring stability in the oil prices like of neighbouring country (India).

Quoting the extracts of newly drafted summary of the petroleum ministry likely to be taken up in the next ECC, the sources said that ministry of petroleum and natural resources has recommended to set a mechanism of reviewing the per liter price of POL on quarterly basis. They also told that the ministry has further recommended reducing and fixing the GST on petroleum products in terms of absolute per litre price, Petroleum Levy (PL) worth Rs220 billion may be used as price stabilising factor rather than source of revenue besides asking to end 7.5 per cent deemed duty on High Speed Diesel (HSD), they added.

“Petrol and diesel are not keeping pace with regional countries and world due to refining constraints of local refineries, as some refineries did not fulfil earlier agreed commitment of setting up the expansion and up gradation of their plants despite incentives given to them,” a senior official at petroleum ministry said on the condition of anonymity.

He also told that ESCROW account was yet to be opened jointly with finance division as per ECC decision on March 3, 2013 under which refineries would deposit amount of profit over & above 50 per cent of their paid-up capital accumulated with them in special reserves under the pricing formula meant for expansion and modernisation of the refineries.

It is worth mentioning here that quarterly review of POL prices would bring breathing air to the burdened countrymen already bearing heavy brunt of monthly review in POL prices and skyrocketing power tariff. It would also provide ease to the salaried class besides bringing stability in the prices of essential commodities.