ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday reduced the prices of all petroleum products, except the most inflationary high-speed diesel (HSD), by Rs5 to 15 per litre for the next fortnight ending March 15.

On the other hand, the price of liquefied petroleum gas — the so-called poor’s fuel — has been raised by about Rs4.4pc, taking its 11kg domestic cylinder prices to Rs3,278 instead of Rs3,141 at present.

While keeping the HSD rate unchanged at Rs280 per litre, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced that the price of petrol had been cut by Rs5 per litre. In a recorded brief statement, he said the prices of kerosene and light diesel oil (LDO) had been reduced by Rs15 and 12 per litre, respectively.

The price of petrol has now been fixed at Rs267 per litre for the next fortnight instead of Rs272, down Rs5, or 1.8pc.

The ex-depot price of kerosene has been reduced by Rs15, to Rs187.73 per litre from Rs202.73, down by 7.4pc. Likewise, the ex-depot rate of LDO has been cut by Rs12, to Rs184.68 per litre from the existing Rs196.68.

Before the latest review, the government had increased the prices of HSD and petrol by Rs52 and Rs57 per litre, respectively, on Jan 15.

At present, the general sales tax is zero on all the key products, including petrol, HSD, kerosene and LDO, against the 17pc normal GST.

The government is, however, charging a per-litre petroleum development levy of about Rs50 on petrol and Rs45 on HSD. The government is also charging about Rs12-16 per litre customs duty on the two products.

Petrol and high-speed diesel are major revenue spinners for the government, with monthly sales of about 700,000 to 800,000 tonnes compared to just 10,000 and 2,000 tonnes of monthly demand for kerosene and LDO, respectively.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2023

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