POL prices to go up by Rs 4/litre
ISLAMABAD – Petroleum Ministry has decided to determine the prices of petroleum products on weekly basis as a result of which per litre price of the commodity is likely to go up by Rs 3-4 in the country at the end of the current week.
Well-placed sources aware of the development informed TheNation that Adviser to the Prime Minister on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain has granted approval to comply with the Economic Coordination Committee’s decision on 7th August pertaining to determination of petroleum prices in the country.
With this decision, prices of petroleum products for the first time in the history of Pakistan, would be announced four times in a month.
Sources said on every Sunday per litre prices of petroleum products would be decided and announced for public information and interest as well.
It was also learnt that POL prices would also witness further hike upto Rs3-4 per liter from 10th September. Sources were of the view that this new practice of weekly price determination would add woes and worries to the poor masses already bearing the brunt of sky rocketing prices of petroleum products coupled with artificial shortage and over charging.
Taking decision to determine the prices of petroleum products on weekly basis, the Ministry of Petroleum has rejected the recommendations of a legislative panel of the National Assembly, working as a watchdog on the affairs of petroleum and natural resources to decide the prices on monthly basis instead of weekly basis by reviving the old system of pricing of petroleum products.
The panel with Tariq Khattak in chair on 8th August said the new mechanism would cause shortage of the commodity in market and observed that the ‘oil mafia’ in the country would be facilitated with the ECC decision. The panel further said that the oil mafia would earn tens of millions through hoarding and fluctuation in prices would cause more inflation in the country influencing the masses badly.
Even Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), oil marketing companies (OMCs) and refineries in the country had also opposed this weekly pricing of petroleum products on the ground that this decision would add insult to the injuries of hard-pressed consumers.
Official sources in Petroleum Ministry had said that weekly oil pricing mechanism would be introduced on trial basis for three months and a final decision either to continue with the weekly pricing mechanism or not would be taken in the light of the impact of the decision.
It is to note here that Dr Asim Hussain in 2009, prior to this decision, had put an end to the 15 days oil pricing mechanism initiated by Musharraf regime and had started monthly oil pricing mechanism in the country.