Govt steps back from agreed condition with IMF by reducing PL

The Premier Shehbaz led Federal Government has stepped back from the agreed condition with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by reducing Petroleum Levy gradually due to political gains.

The Shehbaz Government had agreed with the IMF to collect Rs850 billion during the current fiscal year by gradually enhancing Petroleum Levy to Rs50 per litre up to April 2023 to revive the stalled loan program.

According to the Finance Ministry, the government has collected Rs47.4 billion (5% of total estimated target) PL during the first three months.

Sources said that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had recommended an increase in the petroleum prices in the country for the next 15 days due to price hike in the international oil market.

According to the OGRA’s recommendation, the authority has suggested an increase in the prices of Kerosene by Rs8.76/litre and Light Diesel Oil by 7.73/litre However, the authority has increased the prices of High Speed Diesel by Rs2.50/ litre for the fortnight.

On Dec 31, 2022, the government was taking the Petroleum Levy Rs50/litre on MS (Petrol), Rs.30/litre on High Speed Diesel, Rs13.10/litre on Kerosene and Rs16.29/litre on Light Diesel Oil.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to maintain the POL prices from Jan 1, 2023 to Jan 15, 2023. To maintain the prices of petroleum prices in the country, the Prime Minister has decided to decrease the rates of Petroleum Levy on different petroleum products after consultation with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

The Federal Government has decided to increase the Petroleum Levy to Rs32.50/litter on High Speed Diesel for the fortnight. However, the PL was decreased on Kerosene to Rs4.34/litter and Light Diesel Oil to Rs8.56/ litter to adjust the recommended increase by OGRA.

Earlier on Dec 31, Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar said that the government has decided to keep the existing prices of petroleum products unchanged for next 15 days to facilitate the masses in the country, particularly to provide relief to lower-income people during intense winters.

Addressing a press conference, the minister said that these prices would be applicable from January 1, 2023 and would remain in force for next 15 days to January 15, 2023.

He said that the decision for keeping the existing prices of petroleum products unchanged in local market was taken under the special directives of Prime Minister to provide relief to the common man, particularly the lower income groups and ensure provision of fuel at household level on affordable prices to meet the winter requirements.

The price of diesel will remain unchanged at current level and it would be available on existing price of Rs227.80 per liter, petrol Rs214.80 per liter, kerosene oil Rs171.83 per liter and light diesel oil at Rs169.00 per liter, he added.

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