ISLAMABAD  - Fuel prices may be slashed by up to Rs2.72 per litre with the start of March, following the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) in its summary sent to the petroleum and finance ministries has recommended decrease in the fuel prices. However, finance ministry will be taking a final decision on Friday (today) either to approve cut or to give further hike in the prices.

Sources in finance ministry privy to the development told The Nation that in a summary moved to petroleum and finance ministries on Thursday, Ogra proposed the federal government to reduce petroleum prices by up to Rs2.72 per litre. The regulatory authority (Ogra), after conducting the necessary consultation process with oil marketing companies (OMC) regarding future oil prices and also in line with the declining trend of POL prices in international oil market, has worked out decrease in the per litre prices of POL products. However, finance ministry would take a final decision today because the fuel prices are scheduled to be effective from March 1st across the country under a monthly oil price review mechanism.

Citing Ogra’s summary, finance ministry sources said, a decrease of Rs2.72 per litre for petrol, Rs1.30/litre for High Octane Blended Component (HOBC), Kerosene oil by 48paiasa/litre and Rs1.07/litre for High Speed Diesel (HSD), while 30paisa cut in per litre price of Light Diesel Oil (LDO) has been recommended.

The sources also said that per litre prices of petrol and high octane blended component (HOBC) would not witness decrease as per Ogra’s recommendation because the finance ministry would not cut petroleum levy (PL) imposed on petrol and HOBC.

“All POL prices may witness cut with the start of next month of March. But, viewing the revenue shortfall, increase in PL imposed on per litre price of petrol and HOBC is also likely and as a result to which petrol consumers might find little relief not in line with Ogra’s recommendation,” said a senior official at finance ministry on the condition of anonymity.

It is to note here that during last month, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) had recommended Rs3.02 cut in the per litre price of petrol but the finance ministry maintained the petrol price by increasing the PL and masses were deprived of expected sigh of relief.