LAHORE – The government on Wednesday issued a notification announcing an increase in prices of petroleum products by up to Rs 4.85 per liter.
The new prices would be in force from 12am on Thursday. The government had earlier decided to retain POL prices at the current level due to Eidul Fitr, however, due to severe opposition by the Finance Ministry, the government was forced to announce an increase in POL rates. Per the new announcement, petrol has been increased by Rs 3.21 per liter to Rs 96.78, High Octane Blending Component (HOBC) by Rs 4.85 to Rs 125.01 per liter, kerosene by Rs 3.52 to 96.35 per liter, light diesel by Rs 3.19 to Rs 93.3 per liter, while the price of high speed diesel was hiked by Rs 4.4 per liter to Rs 106.19.
Moreover, the government has also decided to increase CNG prices by up to Rs 2.95 per kg. Only 20 days ago, POL prices had been raised by up to Rs 7.66 per litre in line with a rise in international oil prices. The price of petrol had been increased by Rs 7.66 per litre, diesel by Rs 4.58 and HOBC by Rs 7.64 per litre. Kerosene had also gone up by Rs 4.64 per liter. In June, the government had provided a major breather to motorists by slashing POL prices by up to Rs 11.75 per litre. Back then, the price of petrol had been lowered by Rs 10.46 per litre, High Octane Blended Component (HOBC) by Rs 11.75 per litre, kerosene oil by Rs 5.26 per litre, High Speed Diesel (HSD) by Rs 6.08 per litre, and Light Diesel Oil (LDO) by Rs 5.02 per litre.
Besides POL prices, a major cut in CNG prices had also been notified, with a Rs 4.82 per kg cut for Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Potohar, and a Rs 4.37 reduction for Sindh and Punjab. Although many had called the unprecedented reduction an election stunt and attempt to gain political mileage, the people had generally welcomed the much needed fall in price of some commodity. The people’s joy was doubled as the government again issued a notification on June 30 for reduction in POL prices by up to Rs 6.44 per litre and CNG prices by Rs 4.59 per kg. Petrol had fallen by Rs 5.02 per litre to Rs 84.49, while the diesel price plummeted to Rs 97.21 a litre.
However, the falling trend of POL prices was reversed on July 15 when the government raised the price of petrol by Rs 1.41 per litre and that of CNG by Rs 1.29 per kg. People had been expecting the meager raise in prices to not last long and come down eventually, citing the government’s troubles at several fronts, especially the power crisis. But the latest raise comes as a major disappointment for the people, who have already been protesting against rising electricity tariffs and chronic load shedding, even during the holy month of Ramadan.-pakistantoday