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Govt announces increase in petrol and diesel prices

Diesel will be supplied at Rs273.40 per litre and petrol at Rs272.95; these prices will take effect immediately.

Islamabad, 1 Aug, 2023 (GNP): The Government of Pakistan has announced a substantial hike in petrol and diesel prices, with the new rates set at Rs272.95 and Rs273.40 per litre, respectively. The decision came as a response to the recent surge in international prices for petroleum products.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, in a televised statement, explained that the prices of high-speed diesel (HSD) and petrol have witnessed a significant rise in the global market over the last 15 days. The government carefully assessed the situation, seeking options to minimize the increase before reaching the final decision.

The finance minister acknowledged the country’s commitments with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding the petroleum levy, which restricted the government’s room for a smaller increase. He emphasized that the decision was taken in the country’s best interest and to meet international obligations.

The new prices will be effective immediately with Rs273.40 for HSD, representing an increase of Rs19.90, and Rs272.95 for petrol, reflecting a raise of Rs19.95. The government’s priority remains to provide relief to the public, as evident from the Rs30 reduction in diesel prices.

While international prices are beyond the government’s control, Dar said the announcement was based on the final recommendation of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) and with the approval from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

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Furthermore, in a separate development, the producer price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was increased by 17.5 percent, and the LPG consumer sale price for August saw a 13.5 percent hike. The new producer price stands at Rs1,886.30 per 11.8kg cylinder, with the consumer price at Rs2,373.64 per cylinder.

According to a top official, the government faced challenges in announcing a major price increase due to the timing coinciding with the end of its tenure. Despite extensive consultations with Ogra officials, the decision to increase prices was taken after careful consideration of the prevailing circumstances.