ISLAMABAD - The government on Saturday announced to keep oil prices unchanged for the month of August after rejecting the summary of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) to increase the petroleum products’ prices up to nine per cent.

The government is not increasing oil prices for the fourth consecutive month in view of not burdening the masses.

“Oil prices will remain unchanged for August as directed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said while talking to the media. He further said that government would absorb a revenue loss of less than Rs2 billion by keeping oil prices unchanged.

The Ogra had proposed to enhance petrol price by 3.29 per cent, kerosene oil by 9.1pc, high-octane blending component (HOBC) by 0.82pc and 0.35pc in high speed diesel and proposed almost 3pc cut in light diesel oil (LDO). Dar said that petrol price would remain at Rs64.27 per litre, high-speed oil price at Rs72.52 per litre, kerosene oil at Rs43.25 per litre, light diesel oil (LDO) at Rs43.35 and high octane blended component (HOBC) at Rs72.68 per litre for the month of August.

The finance minister rejected the impression that taxes on petroleum products had been increased.

He said taxes were even less than the year 2013. Sharing the details, he said that current rate of general sales tax and petroleum development levy on petrol was Rs17.53 per litre as against Rs24.7 per litre in March 2013.

GST on kerosene oil was Rs5.15 per litre that was Rs20.3 in 2013. Similarly, sales tax on high octane was Rs10.56 against Rs19.32 and it was at Rs3.4 per litre on light diesel oil against Rs13.55 of 2013. In the same way, he added, the tax on high speed diesel had been same at Rs23.86 per litre.

Dar said petroleum prices were less in Pakistan as against other countries of the region.