ISLAMABAD -  The government on Wednesday hiked the prices of various POL products by 10.15 per cent and increased the rate of petrol by Rs2.98 per litre and high speed diesel by Rs5.92 per litre.

According the notification issued by the Ministry of Finance, the government increased the price of HSD by Rs5.92 per litre, petrol by Rs2.98 per litre, SKO by Rs5.94 per litre and LDO by Rs5.93 per litre.

A notification issued by Ministry of Finance said the new prices are effective from today (February 1) until midnight February 28.

In its summary, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had proposed Rs2.98 per litre or 3.7 per cent increase in the price of petrol, while double digit increase of Rs10.25 per litre or 11.4 per cent in the rates of HSD, Rs12.74 per litre or 19.8 per cent in the price of Superior Kerosene Oil and Rs. 11.72 per litre or 20.1 per cent in the price of Light Diesel Oil for the month of February on the basis of increase in prices of petroleum products in the international market.

The government, however, decided to reduce the impact on the consumers through adjustment in the applicable levies, said the notification.

As per the notification, the government increased price of HSD by Rs5.92 per litre or 6.58 per cent taking the price from Rs89.91 to Rs95.83 per litre. Diesel is widely used in transport and agriculture sector, and therefore, increase in its price would increase the input cost of farmers.

Similarly, the government increased price of petrol by Rs2.98 per litre or 3.7 per cent from existing Rs81.53 to Rs84.51 per litre.

The price of kerosene oil has also been increased by Rs5.94 per litre or 9.23 per cent from Rs64.32 to Rs70.26 per litre. The kerosene is being mixed in high speed diesel and therefore, there is a shortage of the product in local market.

The price of Light Diesel Oil was also increased by Rs5.93 per litre or 10.15 per cent from Rs58.37 to Rs64.30 per litre. Despite the OGRA recommendations for the increase in SKO and LDO prices, the government was keeping the prices of SKO and LDO unchanged for several months but now the prices have been increased. 

Against the standard rate of 17 per cent general sales tax (GST), currently the government is charging 31 per cent GST on high speed diesel (HSD) and 17 per cent on other petroleum products including petrol, kerosene oil and LDO.

In addition to the GST, the government was charging highest rates of Petroleum Development Levy (PDL) from the consumers. Currently, the consumers are paying Rs10 per litre petroleum development levy on petrol, Rs8 on HSD, Rs6 per litre on kerosene oil and Rs3 per litre on the LDO.

Meanwhile, spokesperson of the prime minister has issued clarification relating to increase in the petroleum prices. He said the price for petrol has been increased by Rs2.98 per litre. The price of high speed diesel oil has been increased by Rs5.92 per litre as against the proposal of increase by Rs10.25 per litre.

The price of kerosene oil has been increased by Rs5.94 litre as against the proposed increase of Rs12.74 litre. The price of light diesel oil has been increased by Rs5.93 per litre as against the proposed increase of Rs11.72 litre.

The spokesperson further clarified that the overall increase in international prices of crude oil has been around 8.07 per cent with HSD 8.68 per cent and kerosene oil by 8.09 per cent. The spokesperson further said that the government would absorb the additional burden due to increase in the oil prices internationally.