Ogra proposes up to Rs44 cut in fuel prices

Apr 29 2020

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The finance ministry will announce the reduced prices if approved by the prime minister. — Online/File
The finance ministry will announce the reduced prices if approved by the prime minister. — Online/File

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) on Wednesday recommended up to Rs44.07 per litre reduction in the price of major petroleum products for the month of May to share the benefit of lower international prices with the consumers.

In a summary sent to the Petroleum Division, seen by Dawn.com, the authority has proposed a decrease of Rs33.94 to Rs73.31 for the price of high-speed diesel (HSD), a drop of 31.6 per cent from the existing Rs107.25.

It has worked out a decrease of Rs20.68 per litre (down 21.4pc) to Rs75.9 for petrol, which currently stands at Rs96.58.

Meanwhile, Ogra has proposed that kerosene oil's price be cut by Rs44.07 to Rs33.38 per litre, a 56.9pc decline from the Rs77.45 per litre rate that went into effect in late March.

For light diesel oil (LDO), the price has been recommended to be slashed by Rs24.57 (-39.3pc) to Rs37.94 per litre. It costs Rs62.51 at present.

If the summary is approved by the prime minister, the finance ministry will make an announcement about the reduction in petroleum products' prices on Thursday.

The proposed reduction in fuel prices comes as oil prices slumped again on Tuesday amid concern about dwindling crude storage capacity worldwide and fears that fuel demand may only recover slowly once countries ease curbs imposed on economic and social activity to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Oil prices have fallen to historic lows this month, with the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crashing deep below zero for the first time as governments worldwide shut down businesses and air travel grinds to a halt due to the virus.

Related: Q&A: Oil prices go negative. What does that mean?

An agreement by top crude-producing nations to cut output by 10 million barrels a day from May 1 has done little to calm the market.

The production cuts "will probably take weeks to show up in the physical market, hence we are still stuck with the inventories issues that will continue to curb any semblance of bullish appetite", said AxiCorp global market strategist Stephen Innes.