Instead of giving relief to the masses due to reduction in crude prices in the global market, the government raised the rate of petrol and reduced those of high speed diesel (HSD) and kerosene on Monday for the next fortnight.
According to an announcement by the ministry of finance, the prices of petrol and light diesel oil (LDO) were increased by Rs6.72 and 43 paisa per litre, respectively. On the other hand, the prices of high speed diesel (HSD) and kerosene were cut by 51 paisa and Rs1.67 per litre respectively.
“In the wake of fluctuations in petroleum prices in the international market and exchange rate variation, the government has decided to revise the existing prices of petroleum products to pass on the impact to consumers,” said the ministry of finance.
As such, the ex-depot price of petrol was raised to Rs233.91 from Rs227.19, showing an increase of Rs6.72 per litre, or 0.03pc.
The price of light diesel oil inched up by an inconsequential 43 paisa per litre to Rs191.75 per litre from Rs191.32 at present.
On the other hand, the ex-depot price of HSD was set at Rs244.44 per litre, down from Rs244.95 per litre at present, with a notional cut of 51 paisa, or 0.2pc. Likewise, the ex-depot rate of kerosene was cut to Rs199.40 per litre from Rs201.07 per litre, down by Rs1.67 per liter, or 0.8pc.
The government is charging a petroleum development levy of Rs20 per litre on petrol and Rs10 each on HSD, kerosene and light diesel oil (LDO) in line with commitment with the international Monetary fund.
On August 1, the government had increased the price of HSD and kerosene by Rs9 and Rs5 per litre and reduced those of petrol by Rs3 per litre. Earlier on July 14, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had announced a reduction of Rs18 to Rs40 per litre in the prices of various products as international prices have gone down.
That was the first time the PMLN-led coalition government reduced petroleum prices after it came to power in the second week of April.
Between May 26 and July 1, the petrol price had risen by 66pc, or Rs99 per litre, while HSD price went up by 92pc since May 26 from Rs144.15 per liter, up by 132.39 per liter. Likewise, the ex-depot price of kerosene had gone up to Rs230.26 per liter, up by 95pc between May 26 and July 1. Similarly, the ex-depot price of LDO went up to Rs226.15 on July 1, up 80pc from Rs125.56 per litre on May 26, up by about Rs100.59 per litre.
Under the deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government has to gradually increase PDL on oil products to a maximum of Rs50 to collect Rs 855 billion during the current fiscal year.
The petroleum levy had come to an end after the March 1 price revision as international prices were going up and the PTI government had decided to not only reduce petroleum prices by Rs10 per litre but also froze it for next four months – until June 30.
After initial indecision, the PML-N led coalition has been increasing petroleum prices since May 15 under the IMF deal.
At present, the GST is zero on all the key products including petrol, HSD, kerosene and LDO against 17pc normal GST. The government is also charging about Rs20 per litre custom duty on petrol and HSD.
The PTI-led government had given a commitment to IMF for Rs4 per litre increase in PL in December last year on the first day of every month to a maximum of Rs30 per liter, but reversed it on February 28.