ISLAMABAD: With a delay of five days, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced on Saturday reduction in the prices of petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD), while keeping the prices of kerosene and light diesel oil unchanged.
Normally, the government announces changes, if any, in the prices of petroleum products on the last day of each month. But this time, the bureaucrats deferred the decision on the plea that there was no prime minister and no cabinet in the country.
The new prices will come into effect by 12am on Saturday night.
Mr Dar said the prices for the month of August could not be revised on July 31 as there was no federal cabinet on that date.
As per the decision, the petrol price has been reduced by Rs1.80 per litre and that of High-Speed Diesel (HSD) by Rs2.50 per litre.
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) had recommended a reduction of Rs5.07 per litre in the price of HSD and Rs3.67 in that of petrol.
The prices of kerosene and light diesel oil (LDO) have been kept unchanged at Rs84 and Rs44, respectively.
However, Ogra had recommended an increase of Rs13 and Rs10 per litre in the prices of kerosene and LDO.
Mr Dar said the decision not to pass on the benefit of full decline in the prices of petrol and HSD to consumers would offset the impact of not increasing the prices of kerosene and LDO.
The price of petrol has been reduced to Rs69.52 from Rs71.32, while HSD rate to Rs77.40 from Rs 79.90 per litre.
Petrol and HSD are two major petroleum products that generate most of the revenue for the government because of their massive and yet growing consumption in the country. HSD sale across the country stands at about 800,000 tonnes per month and that of petrol at 700,000 tonnes. Sales of kerosene and LDO are generally less than 10,000 tonnes per month.
Meanwhile, the Federal Board of Revenue has issued a notification to make changes in the rates of general sales tax (GST) on petroleum products.
The GST rate on HSD has been increased from 33.5 per cent to 35.5pc. The GST rate on petrol has been kept unchanged at 20.5pc.
On July 31, these rates were increased substantially to keep the prices of these products unchanged. The normal GST rate is 17pc.
Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2017