Pakistan, which is already facing massive economic turbulence, would raise the prices of both major petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD) by about Rs10-14 and Rs14-16 per litre, respectively, on September 15.
According to Pakistani English Daily, the prices of kerosene would also get costlier by about Rs10 per litre, based on the existing tax rates and import parity price. As such, the petrol and diesel prices are estimated to cross Rs320 and Rs325 per litre, respectively. The kerosene rate would be on the higher side of Rs240 per litre.
If the Pakistani government increase the prices, it would be the fourth time the Ministry of Finance soars the prices. Earlier on September 1, the ministry had increased the prices of petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs14.91 and Rs18.44 per litre, respectively.
The rupee initially depreciated by Rs4.5 against the dollar in the first 10 days of current fortnight (from Rs299 to Rs304) before sliding below Rs300, but in the meanwhile, benchmark international Brent prices went beyond $92 per barrel on Wednesday against $88 in the first week of September, thus nullifying whatever little space the exchange rate might have created, reported Dawn.
The sources said the import parity price for petrol, diesel and kerosene had increased by about Rs13, Rs14 and Rs10 per litre, respectively, since Sept 1, but sale prices were estimated to go up by Rs13, Rs16 and over Rs10 per litre as per product imports by Pakistan State Oil. Jet fuels are also estimated to be costlier by Rs10 per litre. As such, the petrol and diesel prices are estimated to cross Rs320 and Rs325 per litre, respectively. The kerosene rate would be on the higher side of Rs240 per litre.
Notably, earlier on August 16-- barely two days after the interim government came into power, comes just a fortnight after Rs17.50 and Rs20 per litre increase in petrol and HSD prices. The combined increase works out at Rs31.41 and Rs38.44 per litre within a span of just 15 days.
The latest move of the government will further increase the burden of people who have already been facing immense pressure from spiralling prices of vegetables and other essential commodities.
According to Dawn, inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) basket of goods and services was 28.3 per cent for July — a little respite compared to 29.4pc in June and record 38pc in May but still far higher, particularly considering the high-base effect.