After former PM Imran Khan’s February 28 decision, the existing price of high-speed diesel is Rs144.15 per litre, petrol (Rs149.86 per litre), kerosene oil (Rs125.56 per litre), and LDO (Rs118.31 per litre).
The new coalition government on April 15 rejected the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority summary of increasing the petrol price by Rs21.50 and diesel by Rs51.30. Addressing an iftar for parliamentary leaders, PM Shehbaz said that people would have started “cursing people” if the government had given a green signal to such a proposal.
Sources said the government was providing more than Rs29 subsidy on a litre petrol price and with the increase of the dollar value, the subsidy would be over Rs45 till May 16. The complete curtailing of subsidy would set the petrol price at Rs195 a litre.
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, who has been trying to explain Pakistan’s difficulty to manage the petrol bill, on May 5 said former premier Imran Khan had promised the IMF that he would increase the price of petrol. “According to this promise, the price of petrol should be Rs245. Trying to maintain this support price is costing us Rs102 billion a month,” Miftah said.
Similarly, the diesel may shoot to Rs230/litre after the ending of over Rs73 subsidy, which is expected to increase to Rs85 by Monday. The kerosene oil price would be Rs176, with the withdrawal of Rs43 subsidy. This relief is also expected to soar to Rs50.44 by tomorrow. And, the light diesel oil would be sold at Rs186 as the government would end over Rs64 subsidy. The relief amount is also believed to witness a four rupees increase.
The finance ministry is expected to hold discussions with PM Shehbaz on the advice of Ogra. The final decision to jack up the petrol price lies with the country’s chief executive.
The development comes amid the culmination of the PML-N delegation meeting with party supremo Nawaz Sharif in London this past week. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had told reporters that the final decision on the London plan would be taken after taking the coalition partners on board.
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Saturday also spoke in the same tone. But, she added that the premier would also address the nation on the decisions only after the allies’ consent.
With the decrease in the value of the dollar, the fuel subsidy burden is becoming a hard nut to crack for the incumbent government. The interbank trade on Friday closed with the rupee standing at 192.5 against the one dollar, reaching an all-time high.