ISLAMABAD  The government is all set to jack the prices of Petroleum Oil and Lubricants (POL) products up to six percent by the start of February.Therefore, the already heavily-burdened masses should get ready to bear the brunt of inflationary pressure originating from the international market. However, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), in a bid to benefit the consumers, has recommended the government to maintain the POL prices by reducing the petroleum levy.Sources privy to the development informed The Nation that Ogra has sent its summary pertaining to the prices to the federal government. But a final decision on the regulatory authority’s advice would be taken by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in meeting today (Tuesday).The price hike, if approved, is expected to be Rs5.34 per litre for petrol, Rs6.27 for HOBC, Rs3.09 for high speed diesel oil, Rs2.77 for kerosene oil and Rs3.40 for light diesel oil (LDO). The government collects Petroleum Levy on POL products directly from the consumers. However, if the government would not reduce the PL ratio, the price of motor gasoline (petrol) will reach at the record level of Rs94.90 per litre, high octane blended component (HOBC) Rs118.20, HSD Rs101.90, kerosene oil Rs92.05 and the price of LDO will touch Rs93.20 per litre.The sources said that owing to the rising differences of US and Iran on the Strait of Hormuz, POL prices are continuously increasing in the Gulf markets, which has been forcing the government to further enhance oil prices in the country from three to six percent. Consequently, the declining trend in the value of rupees, particularly against the dollar by a percentage of 1.2, is expected to further contribute to a surge of Rs1.05 per litre in the prices of POL products.Ogra sources alleged that the government has been persistently making the authority a scapegoat over petroleum prices. They said the controversial statement of Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain regarding the prices of POL products prior to the notification of Ogra, which in fact was in pursuance of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) decision of October 6, 2010, has been deregulated.As per the ECC decision, refineries/oil marketing companies (OMCs) are fixing ex-refinery/ex-depot prices of above-mentioned POL products, including the ex-refinery/ex-depot prices of Motor Spirit, HOBC, LDO and Jet fuels (JP-1, JP-4 & JP-8). The Ogra, however, continue to compute/notify ex-refinery prices of HSD and Kerosene, including ex-depot prices of Kerosene oil and E-10 Gasoline on monthly basis on federal government given formula & Petroleum Levy.