ISLAMABAD, Sept 15: Despite a 35 per cent drop in the international market, the government on Monday raised with immediate effect the prices of high speed diesel, light diesel oil and kerosene by Rs3.5 per litre.

However, the petrol price was cut by 5.8 per cent, or Rs5 per litre. The HOBC rates were kept unchanged at Rs96.08 per litre.

With the price revision, the amount of subsidy being provided to consumers has come down to Rs2.5 billion a month from Rs4 billion a fortnight ago, Petroleum Secretary G.A. Sabri told Dawn.

Sources said the government was collecting about Rs20 a litre as development surcharge on petrol and was politically under pressure to reduce revenue collection from a product used mostly in the private sector.

The total impact of reduction in petrol price is less than Rs75 million a month, they said.

However, the total impact of increase in the prices of other petroleum products has been estimated to be Rs4 billion to Rs4.5 billion. These products constitute more 95 per cent of the country’s total oil consumption.

The revision has increased high-speed diesel price to Rs68.14 per litre from Rs64.64 — a hike of 5.4 per cent.

Kerosene rates have gone up to Rs61.87 per litre from Rs 58.37 — up by six per cent.

Light diesel oil rates have gone up to Rs60 from Rs56.50 per litre — a rise of 6.2 per cent.

On the other hand, petrol price has been reduced to Rs81.66 per litre from Rs86.66.

An Ogra announcement said even after the revision, the government would shoulder a burden of Rs9.42, Rs10.93 and Rs9.49 per litre on HSD, kerosene and LDO respectively.

This was the eighth increase in petroleum prices since Feb 17 this year, and the seventh allowed by the PPP-led government in six months.

The prices of diesel and kerosene have surged by 77 per cent and 84 per cent respectively. The petrol and HOBC prices have shot up by 65 per cent and 61.4 per cent respectively.

Petrol cost Rs53.70 at the end of February. It was raised to Rs58.70 on March 1 and to Rs62.81 on March 16.

On April 18, the price was raised to Rs65.81, to Rs68.81 on May 1, Rs75.69 on June 29, and to Rs86.66 on July 21.

World oil falls to $91

Oil prices plunged on Monday to seven-month lows near $91 a barrel on prospects of weaker energy demand amid a worsening global financial crisis.

Brent North Sea crude for October delivery tumbled $4.84 to $92.74 after earlier hitting $91.17 a barrel – the lowest level since February. –AFP

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