ISLAMABAD - The Ogra has dispatched oil prices summary to the petroleum ministry and recommended to keep the petroleum prices at current level from August 1, reliable sources said.

While recommending maintaining POL prices at the current level, the regulatory authority (Ogra) has also proposed to reduce the share of petroleum levy (PL) imposed in the prices of petroleum products. However, if petroleum levy is not decreased then per litre prices of petroleum products would go up. Petrol price will jump by Rs2.73/litre, high speed diesel (HSD) Rs3.80/litre, light diesel oil (LDO) Rs 3.90/litre, high octane blended component (HOBC) Rs5.60/litre and kerosene oil will go up by Rs4.99/litre. And, the ministry of petroleum would forward the summary to the finance ministry that, after getting the approval of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, would approve the oil prices to be effective with the start of next month of August across the country, official sources said during a telephonic conversation.

Ogra, after conducting consultation with OMCs and viewing the upward trend of oil prices in international market and continued depreciation of Pak rupee against US dollar, has sent the summary to the ministry of petroleum and natural resources for further necessary process involved in the determination of POL prices.

Earlier, sources in power corridors told this scribe that the despite an expected hike ranging from Rs 3 to Rs 6 per litre in the prices of petroleum products from August 1, the governing baboos while showing some mercy for the inflation-stricken masses were finally out to give some relief to them by means of slashing petroleum prices. 

“The government, owing to a possibly colossal hike ranging between Rs 3 and 5.60/litre in the oil prices, is contemplating to offer a sigh of relief, a senior official at petroleum ministry said the other day, adding,” It had been decided at the top government level not to pass on complete burden of POL price hike to oil consumers, however, partial burden of per litre price might be passed on to the consumers in the determination of next month oil prices. And, Ogra is expected that it would not increase the imposed charges of Inland Freight Equalisation Margin (IFEM) on POL products from August 1”.

Sources in the finance ministry, when contacted, said that the incumbent government, in a bid to maintain POL prices at the current level, would have to pay high subsidy worth over Rs 10 billion through adjusting petroleum levy. However, due to a possible decrease in POL prices, the ratio of GST already imposed on POL would fall. They also said that the finance ministry would not accept the proposal to provide total relief to the masses while a relief ranging between Rs 3 billion to Rs 5 billion is likely to be given.

At presently petrol is available at Rs 101.77/litre, HOBC at Rs 126.77/litre, HSD at Rs 106.76/litre, LDO at Rs 92.17/litre and kerosene oil at Rs 96.29/litre in the open market.

Last month, Ogra advised the government to absorb the increase in petrol and HSD. However, both petroleum and finance ministries decided to absorb partial increase and passed on Rs 0.66 instead of Rs 2/litre hike in petrol price while Rs 1.50/litre instead of Rs2.16/litre increase in HSD price ostensibly to provide a sigh of relief to the inflation-stricken masses.