ISLAMABAD - The masses would bear another economic jolt as New Year gift with the start of January 2014 as the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has worked out up to Rs 3.60/litre hike in the prices of petroleum products for the upcoming month.

Official sources told The Nation that the regulatory authority has despatched a new summary pertaining to the prices of petroleum products (POL), asking the government to maintain the prices at current level by reducing the share of petroleum levy. But, if the government does not reduce the share of the petroleum levy, per litre price of petrol will go up by Rs 2.91, high speed diesel (HSD) by Rs 2.63, light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs 1.80, high octane blended component (HOBC) by Rs 3.60 and kerosene oil by Rs 1.38 with the start of the new year.

The regulatory authority, prior to sending the summary to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, completed the process of consultation with oil marketing companies about the POL prices from 1st January 2014. The Ogra worked out up to Rs 3.60/litre hike in the prices of petroleum products under monthly oil price review mechanism.

Quoting the Ogra summary, the sources also said if the government approves hike in line with the determination of OMCs, the new per litre price of motor spirit (petrol) will stand at Rs 115.67, diesel at Rs 119.38, HOBC at Rs 144.83, Kerosene oil at Rs 109.38 and LDO at Rs 103.04 from 1st January, 2014.

It is worth mentioning here that prices of essential commodities would also witness hike because increase in per litre prices of POL would raise prices of essential commodities.

And people from remote or hilly areas would face a lot of miseries. Cost of doing business would see a surge and, as a result, inflated prices would add a lot to the miseries of the common man already bearing the brunt of power loadshedding coupled with severe gas outages or low pressure of gas amid the wave of the severe cold in the country.