ISLAMABAD - The government has collected around Rs 385 billion on account of Petroleum Development Levy during the last two years to meet the country’s budgetary revenue targets. “The petroleum levy collection stands at Rs 178.874 billion and Rs 206.28 billion during fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively,” according to an official document available with APP.

The government often revises oil prices upward and downward through adjustment in the Petroleum Levy keeping in view the fluctuations in international oil prices for providing relief to the public.

For the current month, the price of petrol has been decreased by Rs 5 per liter, high speed diesel by 5, kerosene oil by Rs 7 and light diesel oil by Rs 7 per liter.

Unfortunately, as per the document, the previous government had been increasing the prices of petroleum products when international market went up, but when the prices went down, it often did not pass the full benefit to the consumers by increasing the tax rate.“For example, the GST on High Speed Diesel was increased to as high as 57 per cent in 2015-16 when the prices collapsed.”

However, when the present government took office, it felt necessary to bring some price stability and transparency. “From July 2019, the GST has been fixed at 17 per cent of the prices. Petroleum Levy is also fixed generally around Rs15 per liter.”

Normally, when the changes in the international prices are minor, the government makes minor adjustments in the petroleum levy to keep prices stable but ‘any major variation, up or down, is passed on.’