ISLAMABAD - Over-burdened petrol and diesel consumers are being charged with additional margin of Rs0.86/litre from last two months ostensibly owing to a decision of Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), reliable sources said on Saturday.

Additional charging of oil consumers, already bearing sky rocketing POL prices coupled with high margin of oil marketing companies of Rs0.25/litre on petrol and Rs0.10paisa on diesel and dealers of Rs0.41/litre on petrol and Rs0.10/litre on diesel, had been started ostensibly after a ECC decision under which the highest economic forum (ECC) allowed recovery of interim relief from March to May. Since then, consumers had been fleeced with Rs0.86/litre and this series of additional charging in the name of increase in margin is still continuing as OMCs including state-owned oil giant Pakistan State Oil are fleecing the petrol and diesel consumers.

The ECC of the cabinet during its meeting held on 26th February had considered the summary dated 21st February 2013 of Ministry of Petroleum & natural Resources to review margins of oil marketing companies (OMCs) and oil dealers. The ministry in its summary had proposed to increase the margin of OMCs and the dealers on motor spirit (MS) by Rs0.25 per litre and Rs0.41/litre respectively while Rs0.10/litre hike in the margin of OMCs and dealers on high speed diesel (HSD) oil. And, the ministry also suggested carrying out within three months a detailed study to establish basis for revision of OMCs and dealers and submission of report to the ECC for consideration.

Available copy of the ECC summary with this scribe has disclosed that the OMCs and dealers margin were revised accordingly w.e.f 1st April 2013 while for ECC decision on detailed study for revision of margins, the oil and gas regulatory authority (ogra) had been requested to carry out the requisite study keeping in view their role as an independent regulator, so that a criteria/policy for revision of margins on petroleum products (POL) may be developed and submitted to ECC for approval.

The ministry also advocated to the highest economic forum of the country (ECC) to consider and approve additional time limit. “Since the above mentioned study could not be completed within three months due to various reasons. It is therefore requested that additional time of four months after approval of the ECC may be allowed further in this regard with the advice that Ogra should conduct and complete the requisite study within the proposed time limit. The interim relief/increase in OMCs/dealers margin as at para 1(a) & (b) may continue till further decision in the matter,” petroleum ministry summary reads.

Available secret document with this scribe also disclosed that the federal cabinet’s committee in its decision had considered the proposals of petroleum ministry towards increasing the margins of OMCs and dealers on petrol and diesel. Official letter with a serial Case No.ECC-47/05/2013, dated 26 February 2013 also revealed that the ECC in its decision on review of margins of oil companies and dealers had approved a hike of Rs0.25/litre in OMCs margin on petrol (MS) and Rs0.41/litre in the margin of dealers while Rs0.10/litre in the margins of OMCs and dealers on diesel (HSD).

Similarly, the ECC in its decision, had said had a detailed study to establish basis for revision of margins of OMCs and dealers should be carried out within three months and submitted for consideration of the ECC.

Till such time, the revision in margins as approved above would be treated as interim relief.