KARACHI - Refineries have increased prices of lube base oil by 15 per cent in the past four months. The new increase would result into Rs8 to Rs10 per litre in all lubricants. This was stated by Chairman All Pakistan Lubricants Manufacturers Association (APLMA) Mian Zahid Husain in a press release issued on Thursday. He said that since December, this is third time that base oil prices have been increased without any justification or taking lubricants manufacturers into confidence. He informed that Attock Refinery Ltd has increased prices of lube base oil by Rs6.50 per litre from Thursday. According to the Chairman, the prices increase in base oil was being linked with the price fluctuation in the international market but at the time when the prices of POL have gone down to $87 per barrel, the refineries are increasing base oil prices without any justification. He said that as per their formulae, the price of lube base oil should be decreased instead. He said that refineries have created false shortage of base oil in the local market which is causing price increase. He mentioned that total consumption of lube oil in Pakistan is 400,000 tonnes while local refineries manufacture only 200,000 tonnes lubricating oil out of which automotive industry consumes 173,000 tonnes, which is 86 per cent of the total production. He said that government needs to take steps to meet the shortage of the lubricating oil. He said that at this juncture when the skyrocketing prices of utilities and edibles have already broken back of the consumers, refineries overburdening them by frequently increasing prices of lubricating oil. He warned that if the trend of price increase continues, the lubricants manufacturing industries may close down and spurious lube oil manufacturers would flourish endangering consumers vehicles. He demanded of the government to immediately reverse the decision made by the refineries and restore base oil prices to the present level in order to save automotive, engineering and lubricants industry and save employment of thousands of workers.