ISLAMABAD – Paying no heed to the repeated calls of a parliamentary panel for ending weekly POL prices review and providing relief to consumers, the government has once again increased petrol and CNG prices.

Under a summary approved by the Finance Ministry on Sunday, the price of petrol has been increased by Rs1.73 per litre. Only last week, the government had increased the price of petrol by Rs6.82 per litre.

The price of CNG has also been raised up by Rs1.59 per kg. However, the prices of petroleum products other than petrol have been slashed down by Rs6.06/litre.

After this price revisions, petrol from Monday will be available at Rs108.45 per litre, compared to its previous price of Rs106.72 per litre. The price of HOBC has been cut down to Rs131.9 from its previous price of Rs137.96, kerosene oil to Rs101.63 from Rs104.68, HSD to Rs113.31 from Rs113.77 and LDO to Rs97.17 from Rs99.27 per litre.

The prices of CNG will go up in line with the petrol price hike due of a set mechanism under which CNG price should stand at 60 per cent of petrol price. CNG price in Region-I, comprising Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, will reach Rs99.28 per kg after a raise of Rs1.59 per kg; and in Region-II, covering Sindh and Punjab, the price will be up to Rs90.70 after an increase of Rs1.45 per kg.

Some observers have argued that the continues hike in petrol price under the controversial weekly price review mechanism is tantamount to slapping the parliament because the National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources, has been persistently recommending revival of monthly price mechanism and keeping the prices on a previous level of July 31.

Engineer Tariq Khattak chairs this committee entrusted with the task of serving as a watchdog on the affairs of the Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry.

However it has so far failed to make the petroleum and finance ministries to act on its pro-people recommendations. Even, the expressed threat of a privilege motion against the petroleum and finance secretaries has bore no fruit.

This NA panel is scheduled to meet on September 27 on a single-point agenda of POL price hike and it is to be seen if it takes some concrete step or just bows down to the ‘ill conceived ‘policies of the petroleum and finance ministries by mere expression of resentment.