Get ready for a possible increase in petrol and diesel prices! Reports suggest that from Jan 31 onwards, both petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD) might see a hike of Rs. 5-9 per litre. This surge is attributed to soaring international prices and import premiums, overshadowing any minor gains from exchange rate fluctuations.
According to reliable sources, global market fluctuations have led to a rise in the prices of petrol and HSD over the past two weeks. Despite a slight strengthening of the rupee against the US dollar, Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has had to shell out higher import premiums.
Petrol and Diesel Rates
As a result, expect HSD prices to climb by Rs4-6 per litre and petrol rates to jump between Rs6.5 to 9 per litre, depending on the final exchange rate. While petrol prices have dipped slightly by $3 per barrel to $86.5, HSD has become pricier by about $2 per barrel to $97.5. The rupee, however, has gained marginally against the dollar.
Additionally, PSO’s premium for product cargoes has surged by $2 per barrel each. The government has already hit the maximum petroleum levy limit of Rs. 60 per litre on both petrol and HSD, aiming to exceed Rs920bn in collection by June as part of its IMF commitments.
These potential hikes come at a time when petroleum and electricity prices are significant contributors to the high inflation rate, reaching 29.7% in December 2023. Petrol, widely used in private transport, rickshaws, and two-wheelers, directly impacts the budgets of middle- and lower-middle-class households.
On the other hand, HSD, predominantly used in heavy transport vehicles and agricultural machinery, including trucks and tractors, adds to the costs of essential goods like vegetables.
Despite a zero GST on petroleum products, the government continues to levy Rs. 60 per litre Petroleum Development Levy (PDL) on both petrol and HSD. Stay tuned for updates on these crucial developments!