ISLAMABAD - The government is earning Rs 13 billion monthly by levying sales tax on petroleum products, compelling consumers, irrespective of their social status, to pay 16 per cent more than the actual price. An official of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority, the national regulatory body, said in a press conference that the government was giving a monthly gross subsidy of Rs 30 billion on petroleum products. He said at the same time it was collecting Rs 13 billion per month in taxes on petrol, HOBC, kerosene oil, light diesel and high-speed diesel. Thus, the government was providing a net subsidy of Rs 17 billion, he added.   According to official statistics, after the recent increase, the actual petrol price before tax is Rs 74.71 per litre and with Rs 11.95 sales tax, the consumer is paying Rs 86.66 per litre. A consumer of HOBC is paying a tax of Rs 13.25 on each litre, bringing its price to Rs 96.08 from Rs 82.83. One litre kerosene oil, a poor man's consuming product, is carrying Rs 8.05 tax, pushing its price to Rs 58.37 from Rs 50.32 per litre. The figures show the government is charging Rs 7.79 tax on light diesel and Rs 8.92 on high-speed diesel. The 'pro-poor' government did not levy Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in the federal budget on stock market while surrendering to the billionaires, which could fetch billions of rupees. At the same time it is not ready to withdraw sales tax on kerosene oil, which is purely used by poor households.   The official said despite recent increase in the prices of the petroleum products, the government was providing a subsidy of Rs 33.93 per litre on kerosene oil, Rs 35.42 on diesel and Rs 29.4 per litre subsidy on light diesel. However, by taking out taxes, the actual subsidy on these products remained as, kerosene oil Rs 25.88 per litre, high speed diesel Rs 26.5 and light diesel Rs 21.6 per litre. He said the government was not providing any subsidy on petrol. It meant the government was earning Rs 11.95 per litre by levying 16 per cent sales tax.   Acting Secretary Petroleum Ministry, G. A Sabri who was also present in the highly mismanaged press briefing said Prime Minister, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday constituted a special committee, which would devise ways to reduce impact of increasing oil prices on consumers. The committee would look into all aspects determining the final price of the petroleum products, he added. He said the committee would complete its work in 14 days and was comprising Chairman National Reconstruction Bureau, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue, and Federal Secretaries of Finance, Planning Commission and Petroleum. He defended the government decision regarding recent historic increase in the oil prices. He said since May 2004 there was a need to change oil prices on 87 occasions but the government changed it only 13 times. He said the government had frozen the dealers' profit margin that saved Rs 7.5 billion per annum. The acting Secretary Petroleum Ministry was completely unaware of the retail price of Compressed Natural Gas.