ISLAMABAD - Inflation-stricken masses will face another blow of price hike as prices of petroleum products are likely to go up to Rs1.50/litre from July 1, sources said on Monday.

Increase in the general sales tax (GST) and the depreciation of rupee against US dollar are the major reasons behind the likely rise in prices.

Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) after consulting oil marketing companies (OMCs) would recommend future prices to the Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry within couple of days.

"Ogra after having consultation with OMCs would dispatch a summary of new prices to the ministry on June 29 under a monthly price review mechanism," a senior official at the ministry said."It is likely that Ogra would propose hike in POL prices viewing the mixed trend of oil prices in the international oil market, one percent increase in GST announced in the budget and sinking rupee which witnessed sharp devaluation during a couple of years."

According to sources, per litre price of petrol will go up by Rs1.10, high octane blended component (HOBC) by Rs1.50, high speed diesel (HSD) by Rs0.97, light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs1.37 and kerosene oil is expected to go up by Rs0.90 during the next month. The hike will intensify the suffering of inflation hit-common man.

The question is how the struggling salaried-class could meet expenses after increase in daily commodities when it got no increment in salaries. 

Economists opine that depreciation of rupee against the US dollar has nearly stopped the economic growth in all major spheres of the economy and it also bumped up oil prices.  They say widening current account deficit, excessive government borrowing from the State Bank, absence of foreign flows, increasing oil imports, lack of foreign investment and repayments to the IMF, worsening economic conditions, deteriorating law and order situation, energy crisis and terrorism are the reasons for constant depreciation of rupee.