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Government retains petrol price, cuts diesel cost amid IMF review

Islamabad, 30 November, 2023 (GNP): The caretaker government has opted to maintain the existing price of petrol at Rs 281.34 per litre while implementing a significant reduction in the price of high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs 7 per litre for the upcoming fortnight.

In line with the notification issued by the finance ministry, high-speed diesel will now be available at Rs 289.71 per litre starting from December 1. Furthermore, adjustments in the prices of Kerosene and Light Diesel Oil have also been made, reducing them by Rs 3.82 and Rs 4.52, respectively.

Post the adjustment, consumers can avail Kerosene at Rs 201.16 per litre, while Light Diesel Oil will be retailed at Rs 175.93.

This move by the caretaker government comes amidst a comprehensive review conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and in response to the global downturn in oil prices. Global oil prices experienced a midweek decline as Opec+ deferred a ministerial meeting to November 30, focusing on resolving discrepancies related to production targets. Brent crude futures observed a drop of 0.4pc to $80.21 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures decreased by 0.4pc to $75.25.

Previously, the interim government had reduced the prices of all petroleum products by Rs 2 to 9 per litre, considering the downward trajectory of prices in the international market.

Notably, the ex-depot price of high-speed diesel (HSD) has now dipped below Rs 300 per litre after an interval of over two months, settling at Rs 296.71 per litre. Meanwhile, the ex-depot price of petrol was maintained at Rs 281.34 per litre.

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In a separate development, discussions between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Energy Ministry were held to assess the progress made under the Petroleum Development Levy on petroleum products.

The government aims to gather Rs 869 billion as petroleum levy during the current fiscal year, as part of the commitments outlined with the IMF.

The government has already enacted a petroleum levy of Rs 60 per litre, adhering to the legal maximum.

During the initial quarter ending September, the total petroleum levy collection exceeded Rs 222 billion, despite gradual increases in per litre rates on petrol and negligible changes in other products.

This adjustment reflects the government’s proactive approach to balance domestic fuel prices in line with global trends and economic considerations.