ISLAMABAD – Cash-starved government, acting upon the decision of the ECC, has imposed new levy on the users of High Speed Diesel (HSD) oil because the Finance Ministry has secretly started charging the consumers of the product Rs 0.5 to Rs 0.12 litre. On the other hand, Ogra has asked the government to withdraw this decision.

Well-placed sources aware of the matter informed TheNation that already bearing heavy brunt of sky rocketing price of the product, the diesel consumers were now being charged in the name of deregulating the price of the product. Resultantly, the government would earn a hefty revenue of Rs 2.5 billion annually. They said this has happened only because the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on 4th September, while giving its approval to deregulate the price of the product (HSD) in a summary of the Petroleum Ministry (MP&NR), had affiliated the price of diesel with the cost of imported cargo of PSO and implementation of the ECC decision had been initiated from 17th September.

They said interestingly, in accordance with the summary of Petroleum Ministry sent to the ECC for its approval to change price formula of diesel, the relief was set to be passed on to the consumers on weekly basis; however the oil marketing companies (OMCs) would now surrender additional margin to the government instead of giving a relief of Rs 0.5-0.12/litre to the HSD oil users.

Sources also informed that the relief to the consumers was to be made possible through adjustment in the charges of inland freight equalization margin (IFEM) already imposed in diesel price. Further, owing to change in the price determination formula of diesel, the prices of country’s refineries has been reduced.

However, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), showing its serious concerns over deregulating the diesel price by the highest economic forum of the country (the ECC), wrote a letter to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MP&NR).

Viewing the miseries of the consumers, the regulator had highlighted that the ECC decision was contrary to the summary of the MP&NR and relief was to be provided to the diesel consumers on weekly basis. The regulatory authority further asked the MP&NR to approach the Cabinet Division (CD) to ensure the withdrawal of this decision because this decision was contrary to the decision of the ECC taken during its meeting of 4th September.