POL price hike sans signing of Finance Bill by President

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POL price hike sans signing of Finance Bill by President

ISLAMABAD - Oil marketing companies (OMCs) have jacked up the oil prices by up to Rs3.21 per litre without the signing of finance bill 2013-14 by the President.

Interestingly, President Asif Ali Zardari had not signed the finance bill 2013-14 till the filing of this story while heavy collection from the petroleum dealers has been made by the OMCs on the grounds of enormous hike in the GST. Earlier, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar while presenting federal budget 2013-14 had announced hike in the GST on June 12. And, the FBR issued notification of collection of raise in the levy (GST) over the sale of petroleum products (POL). The OMCs initiated collection of increased GST from the oil dealers and as an immediate result the masses were fleeced differently on the various filling stations in different parts of the country, as ratio of the imposed tax was different for the registered and non-registered petroleum dealers.

On finding public complaints, coupled with calls of protest demonstration by different political forces, the chief justice (CJ) of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, viewing the gravity of the matter, took suo moto notice and later declared collection of increase in GST before the approval of the Parliament as unlawful and resultantly the recovery of hike in GST was stopped. But, now the OMCs, after finding the directions of the FBR, have once again started collection of hike in the GST from the oil dealers.

“Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has started collection of hike in GST from the petroleum dealers after finding the direction of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) over the sale of petroleum products (POL),” a senior official at petroleum & natural resources ministry said, adding,” The registered petroleum dealers are being charged by 17 per cent while non-registered petroleum dealers by 19 per cent over the sale of fuel oil.” He also made it clear that POL prices on non-registered petroleum dealers would be higher than the registered dealers after July 1st as Ogra had included only one per cent hike in the proposed oil prices while non-registered dealers were asked to pay extra three per cent on account of massive raise in the GST over the sale of fuel oil. Consequently, inflation-stricken masses would bear heavy brunt and this hike would not only add to their miseries but would also intensify their agonies, he added.

Sources in oil sector also said that due to extra charging by the OMCs, the registered petroleum dealers of the country were facing a raise of Rs0.86/litre in the price of petrol, Rs1.07/litre in HOBC, Rs0.80/litre in kerosene oil, Rs0.90/litre in the diesel and Rs0.77/litre raise in the price of light diesel oil after the directions of the FBR. They also said that while the non-registered petroleum dealers were witnessing a very heavy hike in the sale, purchase of fuel oil only because of smart raise in the ratio of GST for the non-registered petroleum dealers. They say due to heavy hike in the ratio of GST and further initiation of additional collection of GST from the non-registered petroleum dealers by the OMCs, the per litre price of petrol has gone up by Rs2.58, HOBC by Rs3.21/litre, kerosene oil by Rs2.40/litre while Rs2.70/litre in the price of diesel and Rs2.31 in the per litre price of light diesel oil has been witnessed.

However, finance ministry on Saturday was found chanting a different mantra over the collection of increase in the GST. Secretary Finance said that the collection of increase in GST would start after the formal signing of the President Asif Ali Zardari. But now it has become crystal clear that the inflation-hit masses would have to face the ‘fuel bomb’ ahead of Ramazan as a gift from the PML-Nawaz government. While the government is scheduled to decide today (Sunday) the hike in oil prices under a monthly oil price review mechanism besides the smart raise in the ratio of GST imposed for registered and non-registered petroleum dealers over the business of POL products.

On Friday, the Ogra had dispatched a summary of oil prices recommending a hike up to Rs3.66/litre in the prices of petroleum products (POL) under a monthly price review mechanism to be effective across the country by July 1st. The Ogra, however, had included only one percent ratio of GST while determining the oil prices of next month but the ratio of GST for non-registered petroleum dealers was three per cent high than the registered oil dealers of the country.

According to the summary, per litre price of petrol will go up by Rs2.66, high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs3.66, high octane blended component (HOBC) by Rs2.36, light diesel oil (LDO) by Rs3.04 and kerosene oil will be raised by Rs2.50.

“If Ogra’s proposed fuel prices are approved, hike in the prices of POL products, essential commodities, power tariff — due to monthly fuel price adjustment surcharge - will intensify the miseries of common man, an official at the Finance Ministry said.” If approved by the prime minister, the new POL prices will be: petrol Rs102.43/litre, diesel Rs108.26/litre, LDO Rs92.17/litre, HOBC Rs126.77/litre and kerosene oil at Rs96.29/litre on registered petroleum dealers across the country. Shockingly, 95 per cent country’s petroleum dealers are not registered with the FBR so common man would have to not only bear Ogra’s recommended raise but also the brunt of 19 per cent GST in oil prices during next month of July.

Courtesy:  Nation

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