ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government did not pass on the impact of petroleum prices surge witnessed in the international market during the last two months constantly, rather it gave considerable relief to the common man after finding some cushion in determining the gasoline rates for the first fortnight of April.
In February and March, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had moved four price-revision summaries, out of which three were for the upward revision and one the downward, following the world market trends.
Keeping in view the financial hardships of the common man, Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected all the three summaries of OGRA that suggested upward fluctuation in fuel prices and maintained the rates of petrol and diesel at Rs111.90 and Rs116.08 per liter respectively.
However, the prime minister agreed with the recent summary and reduced the petrol and diesel prices to Rs110.35 and Rs113.08 per liter respectively aimed at providing relief to the masses. The prices of Kerosene oil and Light Diesel Oil were also reduced by Rs1.55 and Rs1.56 per liter for the first fortnight of April respectively.
According to a comparative statement compiled in the first week of March, Pakistan was standing atop in providing low-priced petroleum products for the welfare of its masses among regional countries, and on the 18th position in a list of 167 countries of the world.
The comparison revealed that the petroleum rates in Pakistan were lowest in comparison to the regional countries including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and India where per liter price of petrol varied from $0.83 to $1.26, while the commodity in Pakistan was available at $0.70 per liter.
As per the statement, the price of per liter petrol in Pakistan was $0.70, Sri Lanka $0.83, Nepal $0.95, Bangladesh $1.05, India $1.26, China $1.03, United Kingdom $1.70 and Germany $1.64.
A senior official privy to petroleum sector developments told reporter that petrol rates in India were revised daily transmitting even a minute’s variation in global oil prices to the public and dealers.
Contrary to it, he said, the petroleum prices in Pakistan were reviewed fortnightly with the government’s utmost efforts to bear the burden of upward fluctuation in the international market by its own, but sometimes a slight portion had to be passed on to the masses in an extremely compelling situation.
Answering a question, the official said the petroleum prices fixed by the PTI government were the lowest as compared to the previous two governments both in terms of lowest and highest prices.
Meanwhile talking to this scribe, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Industry Association (LPGIA) Chairman Irfan Khokhar appreciated the government for a considerable reduction in the price of petrol and diesel, especially bringing down the LPG rate by around Rs14 per kilogram for April.
He termed the reduction big relief for the common man in the given scenario of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, he said, the LPG would be available at Rs146 per kilogram to domestic consumers and claimed that with the recent decrease in the prices, the commodity had become 60 percent cheaper than petrol and diesel.
He predicted that in the coming days, the LPG price would further come down and would be available across the country at Rs110 per kilogram. “I forecast that there will be a remarkable decrease in the LPG rates just because of the prudent and business-friendly policies of the government.”