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ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday increased prices of all petroleum products by up to 11 per cent with immediate effect for the month of November.
The increase was approved by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who also put an end to the role of the ministry of finance in petroleum goods’ prices and directed the petroleum ministry to pass on increased rates of diesel and petrol to oil companies and instruct the oil regulator to notify the kerosene price.
The ex-depot price of high-speed diesel (HSD) was increased by Rs5.19 per litre and that of petrol by Rs2.49 per litre. The price of kerosene oil was jacked up by Rs5.19 per litre and light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs3 per litre.
As such, the price of kerosene increased by about 11 per cent, LDO by Rs6.81 per cent, HSD by 6.5 per cent and petrol by 3.4 per cent.
The new ex-depot price of HSD is now Rs84.59 per litre instead of Rs79.40 for the month of November. Likewise, the ex-depot price of petrol was increased to Rs75.99 per litre from the previous price of Rs73.50 per liter.
The new ex-depot price of kerosene is now Rs53.19 per liter instead of the previous price of Rs48per liter, showing an increase of Rs5.19 per litre or about 11 per cent. Also, the rate for LDO was increased by Rs3 to Rs47 per litre from the previous rate of Rs44.
Under the practice in vogue, oil prices are revised on the last day of every month.
Prime Minister Abbasi increased prices of kerosene and light diesel oil which he had been advocating as minister for petroleum. His argument for the increase in the prices of kerosene oil and LDO was that the move would minimise huge price difference of the two products with petrol and that would discourage mixing of kerosene in petrol.
He believed that Rs30 per litre price difference between petrol and two other products was encouraging dishonest market operators to mix kerosene with petrol for higher profits.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and finance minister Ishaq Dar had been resisting the move. Mr Abbasi had also increased the price of kerosene by Rs4 per litre last month.
Interestingly, kerosene is the only regulated petroleum product but unavailable at fixed rates anywhere in the country while all other products are deregulated and are available reasonably within the price band announced by the government