ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday increased the prices of all petroleum products, except the insignificant light diesel oil (LDO), by up to Rs13 per litre for the next fortnight.

With the latest review, the most inflationary high-speed diesel (HSD) prices made a new record, reaching Rs293 per litre. The HSD price adjustment directly impacts consumer prices because of an increase in transport costs.

While keeping the LDO rate unchanged at Rs184.84 per litre, the finance ministry said the per-litre price of petrol had been increased by Rs5 and that of HSD by Rs13.

The major impact of the hike in prices was mainly because of about Rs16 per dollar average depreciation over the last fortnight, i.e. since March 1. The ex-depot price of petrol has now been fixed at Rs272 per litre for the next fortnight instead of Rs267 per litre, up by Rs5 or 1.9pc. Likewise, the ex-depot price of HSD has now reached Rs293 per litre from Rs280, up by 4.6pc.

The ex-depot price of kerosene has increased by Rs2.56 (1.4pc) per litre to Rs190.29 from Rs187.73, and that of LDO was kept unchanged at Rs184.68 per litre.

Since Jan 15, the government has increased the prices of HSD and petrol by Rs65 and Rs62 per litre, respectively.

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

The government, however, is charging about Rs50 per litre petroleum development levy on petrol and high-octane blending component (HOBC) and Rs45 per litre on HSD. It is also charging about Rs25-27 customs duty on a litre of petrol and HSD.

Petrol and HSD are the major revenue spinners, with their 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.

The finance ministry said the increase was caused by an increase in Platts Singapore prices and the rupee’s depreciation over the outgoing fortnight.

Published in Dawn, March 16th, 2023

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