The caretaker government increased petrol price by Rs26.02 per litre and high-speed diesel by Rs17.34 on Friday, following a fortnightly revision.
“Owning to the increasing trend of petroleum prices in the international market, the government has decided to revise the existing consumer prices of petroleum prices,” said a finance ministry press release.
After the massive hike, the new rate of petrol is Rs331.38. The price of high-speed diesel now stands at Rs329.18.
International oil prices rose on Friday and are set for a third weekly gain, as better-than-expected Chinese economic data and reports of record oil consumption bolstered the view that demand in the world’s second-largest crude consumer will continue to surge, Reuters reported.
Brent crude futures rose 65 cents, or 0.7%, to $94.35 as of 0630 GMT, while the US West Texas Intermediate crude was up 67 cents, also 0.7%, at $90.83. Both benchmarks were up about 4% from a week ago.
In the last increase announced at the beginning of September, the price of petrol had been increased by Rs14.91 while the price of diesel had been increased by Rs18.44 per litre.
It merits here to mention that the Economic Coordination Committee increased Rs1.64 per litre on the margin of petroleum dealers, triggering apprehension of another increase in the rates of petrol and diesel on September 16.
There were reports that the price of petrol could be increased by Rs10 while high-speed diesel could see a hike of Rs9 per litre. Similarly, the price of kerosene could be increased by Rs10 and light diesel by Rs8.
“In order to stop Imran Khan and PTI, the fascist regime has completely crushed the poor people of Pakistan. The fascism has to end in order to stabilise our country,” the PTI said in reaction to the hike in petroleum prices.
“As I said, unfortunately, we made a big mistake in our country when we did not extract our own oil and gas reserves. This is a big blunder in this country. Think we extract $3.5 billion less oil and gas as compared to the past 10 years. It becomes around Rs1,000 billion,” said Power Minister Muhammad Ali in Islamabad on Friday.
He added that the country would have its own oil and gas if it had explored its resources. “Today, Pakistan imports 70% of its oil to meet its requirements.”
“When we import 70% of our petrol, if in the world petrol is $1 per litre then it would be Rs300 so the petrol would be sold at the amount it was purchased,” he said and added that the government has controlled the margin of dealers and oil marketing companies.
“Still the rate of petrol in India was 381, 391 in Sri Lanka, and 345 in Bangladesh,” he said. Ali warned that the fall in the rate of the dollar would have an impact on the rate of petrol next month.