Oil prices remain unchanged amid opposition protests – Journal


ISLAMABAD: Amid relentless protests from opposition parties against rising prices and rising unemployment in the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday rejected the proposal by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) to increase oil prices and decided to keep them unchanged for the next fortnight.

The prime minister made the decision “taking into account the public interest and bringing them relief,” said an official announcement from the prime minister’s office.

He said that Ogra and the Ministry of Finance, considering the price of oil in the world market, proposed to increase the price of gasoline by 11.53 rupees per liter, high speed diesel (HSD) of 8.49 rupees, kerosene of 6.29 rupees and light diesel of 5.72 rupees. November, 1st.

He quoted Khan as saying that the government’s priority was to bring maximum relief to the people. “Therefore, instead of shifting the burden of the increase in oil prices in the world market to consumers, the government will bear the burden of the proposed price increase,” the statement added.

Interestingly, the announcements come from the Ministry of Finance whenever there is an upward revision in oil prices, whereas if there is no change or fall in prices, it is the PM Office that issue the document.

PPP leader says government has already raised oil prices by Rs 45 per liter in three years

Oil prices already hit a record high on October 16 when the federal government raised the price of gasoline by over Rs 10 and the rate of diesel by over Rs 12 per liter. It was the first time that the prices of all petroleum fuels in Pakistan had crossed the 100 rupee mark.

The current ex-depot price for gasoline is 137.79 rupees while HSD, which is the most consumed petroleum fuel in the country, is sold at 134.48 rupees per liter.

Gasoline is mainly used in private transport, small vehicles, rickshaws and two-wheelers and has a direct impact on the budgets of the middle and lower classes. Likewise, the price of HSD is considered highly inflationary as it is mainly used in heavy transport vehicles, trains and agricultural engines like trucks, buses, tractors, tube wells and threshers.

Demand for gasoline is expected to increase further with gas shortages expected in the coming months, when the government may reduce the operations of compressed natural gas (CNG) stations to lessen its impact on domestic consumers.

Record-breaking fuel prices have already caused an inflationary impact not only on the national economy, particularly when the country is a net importer of energy, but also on the budgets of the aviation industry, military aviation and the economy. the Pakistani Air Force. The government had also previously increased the prices of JP-1 and JP-4 jet fuels by around Rs10 to break through the Rs110 per liter mark.

Likewise, the price of kerosene had already been increased from 10.95 rupees to 110.26 rupees per liter, which has a severe financial impact on the rural population of the mainly hilly north, where gas is not available and where kerosene is mainly used for cooking. The price of light diesel is currently 108.35 rupees per liter.

According to a statement released by the finance ministry at the time, the government had absorbed the pressure and provided maximum relief to consumers by keeping the petroleum tax and sales tax to a minimum.

Earlier today, the two main opposition parties – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) – warned the government against a possible further increase in oil prices.

PPP Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman had asked the government not to increase oil prices, saying the current regime had already increased the price of oil by Rs 45 per liter in three years. She said that when the country held strategic oil reserves for 22 days, what was the logic behind revising prices every 15 days.

“Who pockets the profit of the remaining seven days?” ” she asked.

In a separate statement, PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb claimed fuel prices were rising because Mr. Khan was a “mega thief”.

“As long as Imran is in power, inflation, unemployment and economic devastation will continue to increase,” she said while recalling that Mr. Khan had promised gasoline at Rs46 per liter at the population. She questioned the “whole show” created by Mr Khan promising the nation a major subsidy on fuel prices.

Ms Aurangzeb said Mr Khan was “economically slicing” the entire nation to live up to the terrible deal he signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) due to his inability to negotiate.

“Electricity, gas, flour, sugar, eggs, oil and pulses become virtually unaffordable as Imran continues his obedience to the IMF, disconnected and apathetic to public distress. Imran pretends to be worried and announces that he will take note of the rise in inflation and worsen it every time, ”she said, while urging the population to join the massive protests against“ the tyrannical government of the PTI ”.

Posted in Dawn, October 31, 2021

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