The government on Thursday increased the price of petrol by Rs5.40 per litre and that of high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs2.54 per litre.
Meanwhile, the prices of kerosene and light-diesel oil (LDO) were increased by Rs1.39 and Rs1.27, respectively. The new price for petrol will be Rs118.09 per litre, diesel will be Rs116.5 per litre, kerosene will be Rs87.14 and that of LDO will be Rs84.67.
The change was shared by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs (SAPM) Shahbaz Gill, who said that the premier had decided to give the public "huge relief" by not raising prices based on the recommendations of the Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra).
He disclosed that Ogra, in view of rising petroleum prices in the international market over the last few months, had recommended that the price of petrol be increased by Rs11.4 per litre. "Contrary to Ogra's recommendations, the prime minister only approved an increase of Rs5.40 per litre keeping in view public interest," he tweeted.
The government would "endure the burden" that would arise due to not increasing the prices in line with Ogra's recommendations and "giving the public maximum relief", Gill added.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said the government had "no choice" but to increase the petrol price in view of the rate in international markets.
However, petrol prices in Pakistan were still the lowest in the region, he said.
This is the second time the prices of petroleum products have increased in the last 15 days. The government had previously increased the prices of all petroleum products by up to 4.7 per cent at the beginning of July to pass on "partial impact" of rise in international prices.
The ex-depot price of petrol was increased by Rs2 per litre and that of HSD by Rs1.44 per litre. The ex-depot price of kerosene was increased by Rs3.86 per litre and that of LDO by Rs3.72 per litre, respectively.
The government had to reduce its tax on petrol and diesel to allow a minimum increase.
The finance ministry said at the time that the government maintained the practice of keeping the prices of petroleum products at an affordable level and had given up Rs252.4 billion petroleum levy it could have collected against the budgeted Rs30 per litre on all products. The ministry perhaps, however, did not know that under the existing law, it could collect Rs30 per litre petroleum levy only on petrol and diesel while its maximum rate on kerosene and LDO could not increase beyond Rs8-10 per litre.
It said Ogra had been recommending a substantial increase in the prices of petroleum products since May 1, corresponding to the increase in prices of petroleum products in the international market. However, the government absorbed the impact of increase by making adjustments in sales tax and petroleum levy. Currently, the petroleum levy rates are at the lowest level of the last six years, the finance ministry had said.