The federal government on Saturday raised the price of petrol by Rs10.49 per litre and that of high speed diesel (HSD) by Rs12.44 per litre.
According to a notification issued by the Finance Division, the new price of petrol, effective from Oct 16 (today), is Rs137.79 per litre while high speed diesel will sell for Rs134.48.
Meanwhile, the prices of kerosene and light diesel oil (LDO) were increased by Rs10.95 and Rs8.84 per litre respectively. The new price of kerosene is Rs110.26 per litre and that of LDO is Rs108.35 per litre.
This is perhaps the first time for which data is publicly available that all the four major petroleum products are being sold above Rs100 per litre in the country.
The notification stated that oil prices in the international market had risen around $85 a barrel which was the highest since October 2018.
“Importantly, entire energy chain prices have witnessed a strong surge in the past couple of months due to higher demand for energy inputs and supply bottlenecks,” it further stated.
The government had absorbed the pressure of increasing international rates and provided “maximum relief” to consumers by keeping the petroleum levy and sales tax to a minimum, the Finance Division said.
“Therefore, prices worked out by Ogra (Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority) have been approved,” it added.
It is pertinent to mention here that the government had raised the price of petrol by Rs4 per litre at the start of the month as well.
Govt took a hit of billions to ensure minimal burden passed on to public: minister
Minister of State for Information Farrukh Habib defended the price hike, saying it was still lower when compared to the international petroleum prices as he blamed global inflation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In the last 15 days, petroleum prices rose by 13.5pc globally but we have increased the rates by only 8pc,” the minister said in a media talk delivered in Faisalabad. “The difference was absorbed by the government. We chose to take a hit of billions on our revenue but ensured that the burden passed on the public of this hike was as low as possible.”
“Coal, through which electricity is generated and is used in a lot of our industries … it’s price has risen from $50 to $250. We import all of the edible oil. Its price has gone up from $500 to $1200 and $1300. This is extraordinary inflation that has taken place in the entire world.
Habib cited a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reportedly saying that it was the greatest surge in inflation since 1970.
He detailed the government’s plans to curb inflation and held the previous governments responsible for the energy crisis the current government is embroiled in.
Petrol bomb will push people to the brink of starvation, says Shehbaz
PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif blasted the latest hike in petrol prices, calling it “utterly shameful” and saying it would “push people to the brink of starvation”.
“No words to describe the extreme cruelty this selected PTI regime has inflicted on the people in the form of yet another increase in the prices of items of daily use,” he tweeted.
Hike would make common man’s life go from bad to worse: PSP’s Kamal
Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal criticised the federal government for raising the price of petroleum products, which he said was akin to forcing the common man up against the wall.
“This has been repeated so many times that it now sounds strange even to say that the government does not [care for the common man],” he said while delivering a media talk in Karachi. “Forget giving them 10m jobs, the ones who already had jobs are now unemployed as well.
“This hike in prices of petroleum products [would make] the life of a common man go from bad to worse. You don’t give gas in the winters and electricity in the summers so the common man has been forced against the wall.”https://instagram.com/p/CVFIj1HotZH/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=13&wp=485&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dawn.com&rp=%2Fnews%2F1652366%2Fgovt-hikes-petrol-price-by-rs10-per-litre#%7B%22ci%22%3A1%2C%22os%22%3A1948.6000000238419%7D
Petrol and HSD are two major products that generate most of revenue for the government because of their massive and yet growing consumption in the country. Average petrol sales are touching 750,000 tonnes per month against the monthly consumption of around 800,000 tonnes of HSD. The sales of kerosene and LDO are generally less than 11,000 and 2,000 tonnes per month, respectively.