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ISLAMABAD: The caretaker government has decided not to change the prices of petroleum products for the time being, informed sources told Dawn on Thursday.
A senior government official said the caretaker ministers did not support a price increase. He said the members of the caretaker cabinet why should take the blame for a decision the PML-N government had left out on the last day while clearing hundreds of summaries and cases in its last week in office and even until the mid-night of May 31.
The PML-N cabinet had decided on its last meeting not to increase the oil prices and leave it to the caretakers while ordering that prices should remain unchanged for seven days that is June 7. As a result, it had also changed the sales tax rates.
The caretaker government has decided to maintain status quo and not to amend statutory regulatory order issued on May 31 for changes in tax rates. “The prices may remain unchanged until July 31, unless the caretaker prime minister feels the need for a change,” an official who had been part of the process said.
As such, the FBR has sharply reduced the rate of GST on almost all the petroleum products.
Against the earlier GST of 27.5 per cent on high-speed diesel (HSD) the rate was reduced to 17pc. The GST on petrol was also reduced to 7pc from 17pc. Similarly, the Federal Board of Revenue has also reduced the rate of GST on kerosene from 12pc to 7pc and from 11.5pc on light diesel oil to 1pc.
On May 30, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) had recommended an increase of up to 16.9pc in prices of petroleum products for June and the government was supposed to announce it on May 31.
Usually the government announce the new oil prices on the last day of every outgoing month which is applicable from the mid night of new month.
According to the Ogra’s summary, an increase of Rs12.50 (12.7pc) was recommended in the price of HSD and Rs8.37 per litre (9.5pc) in the price of petrol. Similarly, Rs8.23 per litre (10.3pc) increase was recommended in the prices of kerosene oil and Rs11.65 (16.9pc) in light diesel oil (LDO) rate. Prices of all petroleum products, except for kerosene, are deregulated and Ogra only monitors their prices.