Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Sunday announced the government will keep the prices of petroleum products unchanged for the month of May.

Dar, addressing a press conference in Islamabad, said the price of petrol will remain Rs74, diesel at Rs83, and kerosene oil and light diesel oil at Rs44, keeping prices at the same level as they were on April 1.

Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) had earlier recommended a decrease in petrol and diesel prices, along with an increase in the price of high-speed diesel.

The authority had proposed a decrease in petrol prices from Rs74 to Rs72.80; a drop in diesel prices from Rs83 to Rs81.90; an increase in the price of kerosene by Rs15 per litre, a Rs10/litre increase in the price of light diesel oil, Dar said.

However, "We will not charge sales tax or petroleum development levy on these two products [petrol and light diesel oil]. Despite that, we will provide a cash subsidy to maintain the prices," he said, adding "the Finance Ministry will provide this subsidy."

Dar said that the government has borne a burden of Rs110 billion during the current year as it did not wish to pass the impact of increasing prices to the lesser privileged.

The Petroleum Ministry and Ogra, however, have been recommending a substantial increase in the prices of kerosene and LDO for months now to minimise the price differential with petrol.