ISLAMABAD – The masses would find a little respite ahead of Eidul Azha, as the PPP-led coalition government has okayed a slight cut in oil prices for the next week, starting Monday (today), under its ‘controversial’ weekly fuel prices review mechanism. Taking the subtly stubborn attitude of a wild mule, the Ministry of Petroleum & National Resources has truly lived up to the saying that “some things never change for good, not in a thousand years, no matter what (you do)”. Literally speaking, the National Assembly, Supreme Court of Pakistan, parliamentary committees and the OGRA have exhausted all possible options while staying within the due reels of the spheres of their privileged authority to get the petroleum ministry not change fuel prices every now and then. But the criminally cunning baboos in the ministry are not ready to let some sense knock their minds as always. One will only heave a sigh if these officials mend their fences! Acting upon the proposed paltry slash by the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and oil marketing companies (OMCs), the petroleum ministry on Sunday approved a worthless cut in oil prices thereby the price of kerosene has gone down by Rs0.61 per litre, light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs0.25, petrol by Rs2.32 and diesel (high speed diesl) by Rs0.33.  After the slash, petrol will be available at Rs101.8/litre, diesel Rs113.29/litre, kerosene Rs103.26/litre and light speed diesel Rs97.68 per litre.Owing to the 60 per cent parity between the prices of petrol and CNG, a nod has also been given for decrease in CNG prices for the next week. For region-I (Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa), Rs2.12 per kilogram cut has been okayed in CNG prices, and measly Rs1.94/kilogram for region-II (Sindh and Punjab). A notification to this effect was issued on Sunday afternoon. The OGRA and oil marketing companies on Saturday proposed to the petroleum ministry make a small cut in the prices of all petroleum products.Similarly, in line with the set mechanism of the deregulation of the price of High-Octane Blended Component, HOBC per litre price would register a decrease of Rs 1, based on freight charges for Islamabad. For Karachi, the price of HOBC will dip by the same amount; but will become cheaper in Multan, which is close to the only refinery producing HOBC. The Pak-Arab Refinery Company (Parco) is the only refinery producing HOBC in the country and is located in Mahmood Kot in South Punjab. Well-placed sources in the petroleum ministry said the ministry had not dispatched the oil price revision summary to the finance ministry to seek its approval prior to its final announcement because no cut had been proposed in the imposed petroleum levy (PL). “Over the last one-and-a-half months, the petroleum ministry has not sought the nod from the finance ministry on the weekly oil prices revision summary, prior to its final decision, added the sources. The weekly review mechanism of oil prices has left the people in lurch since it triggers price hike. The finance ministry baboos are to be blamed for rubbing salt into the wounds of the masses already stricken by inflation and inflated power billing.  Despite the fact that the government has cut the prices of petroleum products up to Rs2.32 per litre for only one week, starting from Monday, in view of the downward trend in the international oil market, it continues to stick to the despised weekly review policy that has been causing too much price fluctuations.  Moreover, despite the calls from various quarters, the government is unwilling to cut the high tax rate on the petroleum products and form a more transparent system of price determination.