Ogra de-notifies recent hike in POL prices

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The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) finally de-notified the recent increase in the prices of petroleum products and now the commodities would be sold at the prices of February 28.

According to the notification issued here on Monday, the petrol after a reduction of Rs 3.53 will be retailed at Rs 103.70/litre, High Speed Diesel (HSD) after a decrease of Rs 4.35 at 109.21 per liter, kerosene oil after a cut of Rs 3.79 at Rs 99.90 per liter, and Light Diesel Oil (LDO) will be sold at its old price of Rs 94.98/litre after a slash of Rs 3.79.

Earlier, taking notice of the upward revision in petroleum products' prices, Prime Minister on Saturday ordered Ogra to withdraw a notification issued on Friday night with immediate effect. The regulatory body requested the government not to pass on the increase in prices to the consumers, but high officials of Petroleum Ministry and Finance Ministry turned a deaf ear to the Ogra's request.

According to officials, the oil marketing companies has brought down the petroleum price on Monday and during past three days they sold thousands of litres on high prices. For three days the OMCs kept selling different petroleum products on the following prices: HSD at Rs 114 per litre, petrol at Rs 106.60 per litre, LDO at Rs 98.26 per litre and Kerosene oil at Rs 103.69 per litre. After protests and walkouts from the National Assembly and criticism by the parliamentarians belonging to PPP and other parties, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf directed Finance Minister Saleem Mandviwalla to withdraw the increase.

According to Petroleum Ministry officials the Prime Minister Secretariat did not issue a proper notification and Prime Minister verbally announced to withdraw the prices without issuing written directives to relevant quarters, so the OMC kept on selling the oil on the prices fixed by the government on February 28.

Oil marketing companies did not take the prime minister's statement seriously and kept on selling products at the increased rates on Saturday and Sunday due to confusion created in the absence of a government notification. Two Ministries ie Petroleum and Finance kept on blaming each another for the confusion. Officials said that during the past three days, OMCs pocketed millions of rupees as profit. Had the government listened to the Ogra's request the masses would have been protected from the losses, a senior Ogra official said.

Courtesy: Business Recorder

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