ISLAMABAD: The government has cautioned the Supreme Court about an expected rise in the prices of petroleum products in June due to a rising trend in international oil prices.

The information has been laid before the apex court by the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) in response to a suo motu notice taken by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on alleged exorbitant/unreasonable taxing, cess, duty and fee on petroleum products.

Already Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf, the finance ministry as well as the Federal Board of Revenue are on notice by the court which had sought a complete audit of the process and a detailed report about the imposition of different taxes on petroleum products.

In response, the energy ministry furnished a report highlighting that currently there has been a rising trend in the international market over the previous month as quoted by the Platts Oilgram — a report covering market fundamentals suggesting changes and factors driving petroleum prices within crude oil and related products.

The report suggested that the government may have to decide about absorbing the hike in oil prices in the next month by reducing the tax rates or pass it on to the consumer, depending upon the budgetary targets and prevailing circumstances.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2018